Altus Strategies PLC (AIM:ALS, TSX-V:ALTS, OTCQX:ALTUF) chief executive Steven Poulton said the past quarter was “significant and highly productive”, marked by the closing of the US$34.1mln landmark acquisition of the cash-paying Caserones copper royalty in Chile.
Poulton said the acquisition transitioned Altus into a revenue generating business and is a testament to the company’s strategic vision and growth strategy.
He also was able to point to continued strong results on its work programmes across the project portfolio, including drilling in Mali and field exploration programmes in Egypt and Morocco (see statement for full details).
“The acquisition of the NSR royalty on the Caserones copper mine not only marked a major milestone in the development of the company’s royalty strategy, but also further diversifies the company’s portfolio outside of Africa and towards copper. The first cash instalment from Caserones was received shortly after the end of the quarter.”
With Altus’ largest shareholder, La Mancha, assisting with the acquisition by providing a US$29mln strategic acquisition facility, Poulton said this underscored their commitment to the long-term growth of the company as well as the quality of the acquisition.
He also flagged the major progress made at the Diba gold project in western Mali during the period, where initial results from reverse circulation drilling, including 8.50 grammes of gold per tonne of earth (g/t Au) over 24 metres from a depth of 20m and 2.54 g/t Au over 30m from 36m.
“The Air Core and RC drilling programmes, which were paused due to the rainy season, recommenced after the period end and were augmented to include 1,300m of diamond drillin,” Poulton said.
A key objective in the next quarter will be to complete the drilling programmes at Diba, he added, with an updated independent Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) and Preliminary Economic Assessment on the project to follow.
Joint-venture partner, Marvel Gold, has continued to advance the Tabakorole gold JV project in southern Mali during the period, through a combination of RC and DD programmes, targeting both infill of and extensions to the existing deposit, before announcing in October an updated MRE for Tabakorole, comprising 17,300,000 tonnes at 1.2 g/t Au for 665,000 ounces in the Inferred category and 9,200,000 tonnes at 1.2 g/t Au for 360,000 ounces in the Indicated category.
In Egypt, Poulton highlighted the appointment of a new general manager as the local branch expanded its in-country geological and administrative teams, while initial reconnaissance discovered numerous hard rock artisanal gold workings at Gabal Om Ourada and Wadi Dubur in the Eastern Desert.
In Morocco, a high resolution, induced polarisation survey commenced at the Agdz copper-silver project, with results to be used to define and prioritise targets for trenching and drilling across four key prospects.
Poulton added the company is examining potential transactions with third parties on its portfolio of Moroccan assets that are held by its 100% owned subsidiary Aterian Resources Ltd.
“We look forward with confidence to another exciting quarter ahead for Altus,” he concluded.
“Alongside assessing further accretive royalty acquisition and other strategic opportunities, our focus during the quarter will be progressing our gold programmes in Mali and Egypt, as well as continuing to create value from our portfolio of projects in Morocco. I look forward to keeping shareholders updated on our progress.”