Altona Rare Earths, a UK-listed mining exploration company, has announced its intention to explore non-rare earth critical raw materials across various African countries.

The decision comes as the company’s board of directors conducted a comprehensive review of corporate strategy, concluding that diversification is a timely step.

As a result, Altona is setting its sights on other critical raw materials such as copper, lithium and niobium.

It is evaluating new prospects, prioritising projects that offer a road to early results, majority ownership, as well as that support low-entry costs.

The company also said it has made significant progress at its Monte Muambe rare earths project in Mozambique.

It is currently engaged in prefeasibility study activities and advancing metallurgical testing to further the project’s development.

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Altona CEO Cedric Simonet said: “To complement Monte Muambe, we are looking to build a balanced portfolio of carefully selected critical raw materials projects across different African countries. We believe this will improve Altona’s risk profile and strengthen the company’s value proposition for its shareholders.

“Operating several projects, within the management team’s capacity and without increasing significantly our overheads, will enable the ccompany to maintain a higher proportion of money-in-the-ground, as well as to build more resilience and a stronger news flow.

“I am excited by the opportunities we are creating, and I am looking forward to a transformative 2024 for Altona.”

In December 2023, Altona announced that after the completion of Phase 2 of the Monte Muambe rare earths project, its stake in Monte Muambe Mining rose from 20% to 51%.

Monte Muambe Mining is the Mozambican unit holding the prospecting licence for the Monte Muambe project.