Altus Strategies Plc (LON: ALS & TSX-V: ALTS), the Africa focused exploration project generator, announced today the discovery of the Simret silver prospect at its 100% owned 412km2 Daro Cu-Au-Ag Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide project, located in the Tigray Regional State of northern Ethiopia.
· Silver grades include 944 g/t Ag and 540 g/t Ag from rock chip sampling at newly discovered Simret prospect at the Daro Project, Ethiopia
· Gold and lead also present at Simret with grades including 3.55 g/t Au and 2.72% Pb
· Potential VMS corridor now extends for 4.9 km
· Geological mapping and trenching underway at Simret
· Numerous priority targets defined at Daro by Sentinel remote sensing study
Steven Poulton, Chief Executive of Altus Strategies Plc, commented:
“We are delighted to announce the discovery of the Simret prospect. Our exploration has returned very high silver grades including 944 g/t Ag, 540 g/t Ag, 277 g/t Ag and 191 g/t Ag from rock chip sampling of quartz veins. These veins also returned gold grades of 3.55 g/t Au, 2.56 g/t Au and 2.11 g/t Au along with lead grades of 2.72% Pb and 2.73% Pb.
Geological mapping and stream sampling indicate the potential strike length of the Simret prospect is approximately 2.8km and 0.5km in width. The prospect is located approximately 3km south of our existing Teklil prospect. At Teklil we have mapped copper oxide mineralisation and discontinuous gossanous outcrop for over 900m in strike length.
Coincident with this field programme, we have engaged remote sensing consultancy Geosense (Netherlands) to complete a multi-spectral remote sensing analysis of the Daro licence using Sentinel satellite data. This work has generated numerous iron oxide occurrences across the Daro licence, which may represent key VMS markers. Our exploration team are already following up on these further targets.”
The Simret Prospect
A programme of exploration at the Simret prospect included the collection of 31 rock chip samples. Of these, 8 assayed above 10 g/t Ag and 4 assayed above 100 g/t Ag with grades of 944 g/t Ag, 540 g/t Ag, 277 g/t Ag and 191 g/t Ag. The highest silver grades were found in quartz veins and these were also found to be coincident with the highest gold and lead grades, which included 3.55 g/t Au, 2.56 g/t Au, 2.11 g/t Au and 1.51 g/t Au as well as 2.72% Pb and 2.73% Pb respectively. These samples also contained anomalous zinc and copper with grades including 0.13% Zn and 0.33% Cu. Taken together these results suggest the potential for a VMS system. Following up on visible copper seen during prospecting the Company has excavated and sampled a 16.3m long reconnaissance trench. Visible copper oxide has been identified in the trench and assay results are currently pending.
The Simret prospect was discovered following a licence wide stream sediment sampling programme covering 320km2 that was undertaken by the Company earlier this year. This survey defined an area of anomalous copper, lead and zinc, a geochemical signature which can be indicative of a VMS system. Follow-up stream sediment sampling on second and third order streams has refined the anomaly to a priority area of approximately 2.80km by 0.50km. Geological mapping at the Simret prospect has discovered a mafic volcanic pile and sheeted dyke complex, which together with the Au-Ag-Cu-Pb-Zn bearing quartz veins and gossanous float samples, further indicates to the Company that the observed mineralisation may be VMS derived.
Sentinel remote sensing programme
The Company has commissioned a licence wide remote sensing programme utilising data from the multi spectral Sentinel satellite. A number of VMS deposits in Eritrea were visited by the Company’s technical team in October 2018. These deposits are hosted in the same mafic to ultamafic suite of rocks (the Nakfa Terrain) as found in the Daro project. The iron oxide signatures of their associated gossans have been used as analogues for the remote sensing algorithm, in order to detect similar mineralisation at Daro.
Initial interpretation of the satellite data has identified a number of iron oxide features within the Teklil and Simret prospect corridor. These targets will be followed up by the Company during the current work programme.
The following figures have been prepared and relate to the disclosures in this announcement and are visible in the version of this announcement on the Company’s website (www.altus-strategies.com) or in PDF format by following this link: http://altus-strategies.com/site/assets/files/4510/altus_nr_-_daro_update_28_nov_2018.pdf
· Location of the Daro licence on the Arabian-Nubian Shield is shown in Figure 1.
· Map showing Sentinel targets and recent results from the Daro licence is shown in Figure 2.
· A selection of project photos is shown in Figure 3.
Daro Project: Location
The Daro exploration licence is held by Altau Resources Ltd, the Company’s 100% owned Ethiopia focused subsidiary. The licence is located in northern Ethiopia, 95km west of the Company’s Tigray-Afar Cu-Ag project, 100km northwest of the Tigray state capital of Mekele and 570km north of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Mekele has a regional airport and year-round access to the licence area is provided by a network of maintained surfaced and graded roads.
Daro Project: Geological setting
The Daro licence is situated within the Neo-Proterozoic Nakfa Terrane, at a junction between two major tectonic blocks and comprises a series of metasedimentary and metavolcanic rocks, affected by thrusting and intrusion of the Rama granite. A band of mafic to ultramafic rocks bisects the licence from southwest to northeast, interpreted to be an ophiolite complex of ancient oceanic crust and seafloor sediments. Historical data compilation of Daro, undertaken by the French governmental Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (“BRGM”), has defined a number of marker lithologies and structures that are considered prospective for VMS deposits. These include the presence of bimodal volcanics and associated sediments, mafic and ultramafic lithologies which conform to an ophiolitic sequence, as well as the presence of extensive chert horizons.
The Nakfa Terrane hosts a number of significant VMS base metal and gold deposits and mines. These include Bisha, a polymetallic mine operated by Nevsun Resources Ltd (TSX: NSU) 190km north west of Daro, the Harvest and Adyabo projects, being advanced by East Africa Metals Inc. (TSX-V:EAM) 35km west of Daro and the Asmara project being advanced by Sichuan Road & Bridge Mining Investment Corp Ltd 100km north of Daro.
Sampling Methodology and analysis
A total of 31 grab samples were collected as rock chips from outcrop or float from the programmes described in this release. Of the 31 samples:
Silver: 10 of 31 samples assayed above 1 g/t Ag, ranging from less than 0.5 g/t to 944 g/t Ag
Gold: 9 of 31 samples assayed above 0.2 g/t Au, ranging from less than 0.01 g/t to 3.55 g/t Au
Lead: 2 of 31 samples assayed above 1% Pb, ranging from trace to 2.73 %Pb
All sample preparation and assay was undertaken by ALS Global at their laboratories in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Loughrea (Republic of Ireland) respectively. Given the early stage nature of these programmes, no Quality Assurance and Quality Control samples have been sent for assay.
Rock samples were crushed with 70% passing -2mm. The less than 2mm fraction was pulverized with 85% of the sample passing <75 microns. The fine fraction of each sample underwent a four-acid digestion with ICP-AES analysis for a suite of 33 elements. All samples were analysed for their Au content by 50g Fire Assay method. Samples with more than 1 g/t Au were resubmitted for Fire Assay with a gravimetric finish.