UK-based Altus Strategies subsidiary Akh Gold will receive gold exploration licences in Egypt’s Eastern Desert.

The licences award has been confirmed by the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA). It will be awarded as part of the country’s first round of international exploration licence bid round, which commenced last year.

Altus is also working with EMRA to sign definitive exploration licence agreements.

Altus CEO Steven Poulton said: “The gold prospectivity of Egypt and that of the wider Arabian-Nubian shield is world-renowned; from the Pharaonic era to the modern multi-million-ounce gold mine at Sukari, operated by London and Toronto-listed Centamin.

“The licences were selected following a systematic in-house target generation programme, incorporating satellite and historic exploration data. This work identified numerous priority targets, including areas with apparent significant historic artisanal gold workings.”

The decision to expand Altus’ activities into Egypt follows Egyptian-owned La Mancha’s strategic investment to acquire a 35.4% stake in Altus in February 2020, as well as favourable amendments to the Egyptian Mineral Resources Act.

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La Mancha earlier said it acquired Altus’ ordinary shares for business and investment purposes.

Poulton added: “It also reflects our belief in the substantial investment opportunity present in the country and is in line with our strategy to continue to grow our diversified portfolio of projects and royalties.”

Subject to signing of the definitive licence agreements, Altus field teams plan to start first phase gold exploration programmes.