Multi-listed Altus Strategies has announced that its 100% owned Ethiopian subsidiary, Altau Resources, has been granted the Zager exploration licence, targeting VMS hosted copper and gold deposits in the Tigray National Regional State of northern Ethiopia.
“The grant of Zager increases our strategic exploration holdings across the highly prospective Arabian Nubian Shield of northern Ethiopia to over 877km2,” says Altus CEO, Steve Poulton.
“Altus selected the licence based on our in-house remote sensing study, which included an extensive review of historical geological data. These highlighted Zager’s geological prospectivity and identified numerous artisanal alluvial gold workings."
Zager is underlain by an almost identical geological terrane to that of the Altus’ Daro project, located 80 km to the east and where it has rapidly discovered a number of encouraging copper and gold targets.
The geology of this region hosts the Bisha mine owned by Zinjin Mining and the Asmara project owned by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Development Corp in Eritrea, approximately 135 km north and north-east of Zager respectively.
Zager is also just 10 km northwest of the Harvest (volcanogenic massive sulphide) VMS project, which is being advanced by TSX-V listed East Africa Metals Inc.
Zager Exploration Licence
The Zager exploration licence covers an area of approximately 285km2 in northern Ethiopia. The Licence targets the Nakfa terrane of the Neoproterozoic Arabian Nubian Shield, which is considered highly prospective for polymetallic and gold-rich VMS mineralisation, as well as orogenic lode gold deposits.
Zager was selected by Altus based upon an extensive process of regional targeting. This work comprised a review of available datasets, including historical mineral occurrences, geological maps and satellite-borne remote sensing data.
The Licence contains two northeast trending ophiolite belts and an overlaying tuffaceous volcano-sedimentary sequence, in addition to two syn-tectonic granitoid intrusions.
A first phase reconnaissance exploration programme will be undertaken by Altus and will include a field assessment of numerous remote sensing targets and a licence-wide stream sediment sampling survey in order to prioritise areas of interest.
The Licence has been initially awarded by the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (“Ministry”) in Ethiopia for a three-year term after which it can be renewed twice for one year each, subject to a 25% reduction in area upon each renewal. Further renewals are possible at the discretion of the Ministry and subject to satisfying certain work programmes.
The Zager exploration licence is held by Altau Resource, the company’s 100% owned Ethiopia focused subsidiary.
The Licence is in the Semien Mi’irabawi Zone of Tigray in northern Ethiopia, approximately 175km northwest of the Tigray state capital of Mekele and 610km north of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
The Licence is accessed by a network of maintained surfaced and graded roads and is crossed by a high voltage hydroelectric power line. The town of Shire which has a population of 71,000 and a regional airport offering daily flights to Addis Ababa is located 30 km to the southeast.
A railway is being planned to connect Shire with the Red Sea port of Tadjoura in Djibouti.
Zager: Geological Setting
The Zager licence is situated within the Neo-Proterozoic Nakfa terrane of the Arabian Nubian Shield, a highly prospective mobile belt of metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks which stretches across northern and western Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt and across the western Gulf.
Zager hosts a 27 km long mafic and ultramafic belt, interpreted to be an ophiolite complex of ancient oceanic crust and seafloor sediments, deposited in an island arc setting. These rocks are intruded by the Debri granitoid and the Imba Tsewa gabbroic complex.
The Nakfa terrane hosts a number of significant VMS base metal and gold deposits and mines. These include Bisha, a polymetallic mine operated by Zijin Mining Group 136 km northwest of Zager, the Asmara project being advanced by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment 125 km northeast of Zager and the Harvest and Adyabo projects, being advanced by East Africa Metals 10 km south and east of Zager.