Middle East explorer Alara ventures into the realm of battery metals
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As if copper and gold weren’t enough for Oman explorer Alara, the company today told investors it would be expanding into battery metals as well.
The company (ASX:AUQ) announced the move alongside advancements of its Al Hadeetha copper prospects, but the shares were unmoved at 2.9c.
They say they are confident construction will kick off this quarter, and with copper prices above $7000 per tonne their financials are looking brighter than ever.
Copper in Oman is a particularly hot commodity with a new copper tube manufacturing plant and copper wire manufacturer in the works in nearby Qatar.
But that’s not enough for the $18 million explorer, hopeful they can join the ranks of battery metal triumphs.
“The Company and its joint venture partners currently hold four exploration licences in Oman covering approximately 667km². New exploration licence applications are being prepared to further bolster the Company’s project portfolio for copper and other battery metals in Oman. Further updates are expected in the coming month,” they told investors on Friday.
Their second project in Saudia Arabia hasn’t been quite as easy.
Alara has been in a legal battle with its former joint venture partner since 2013, the case now at the Board of Grievances in the country, and under the spotlight of the national ‘anti-corruption purge’.
Chief Justin Richard said any progress on the Saudi project would be a bonus.
“Our current market capitalisation reflects a fraction of the risk adjusted net present value (NPV) for the Al Hadeetha project in Oman. Back in 2015, the Company made a provision for impairment of the Khnaiguiyah project in Saudi and cut ~$30m of capitalised expenditure from exploration projects on its balance sheet. Accordingly, any positive development in Saudi is all upside for Alara and its share price.”
Currently their market cap is at $18 million, with shares in the company trading between 1c and 3.3c over the past 52 weeks.