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Ortac looks to gain from recent investments

"Back in January nobody wanted to know anything about resources, let alone gold, and we saw an opportunity..."
Ortac looks to gain from recent investments
Ortac has invested in some prospective mining projects in 2016

Ortac Resources Ltd (LON:OTC) is continuing to build on its investments and the focus is currently on gold and its stake in private firm CASA Mining.

Gold has obviously attracted interest recently and seen an upswing in prices.

Ortac chief executive Vassilios Carellas told Proactive the firm's decision to take a stake in the DRC-focused firm in February this year had been vindicated by peer Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) joining the party and investing last month.

Via a private placing Ortac maintained its stake at 19.5%, while Premier acquired an initial 4.5% interest.

"Back in January nobody wanted to know anything about resources, let alone gold, and we saw an opportunity..." said Carellas.

"This was a new discovery. It was something they (CASA) had worked on in the last five years. It was a project where over US$30mln had gone in in the last five years. Everyone knows going into a new environment, proving up the first million ounces is the most expensive.

"Casa has demonstrated that the believe they could double, potentially triple the resource and that potentially they could prove up quite a substantial gold resource in that part of the DRC."

Premier paid US$250,000 for its 4.5% interest, which valued CASA at US$5.57mln, while  Ortac's interest in the private firm was valued at around US$ 1.1mln -  a significant uplift on its investment so far.

CASA has three mining licenses covering 133 sq km known as the Misisi project in the highly prospective South Kivu province in the eastern Congo gold belt.

An initial near surface inferred resource of 1.2mln ounces at 1.7 g/t (grams per tonnes) gold has been reported at the most advanced Akyanga deposit, which is open along strike and down dip.

A scoping study  at this site showed the viability of an 80,000 ounce of gold per year heap leach operation, with a total cash operating cost of US$628 per ounce.

CASA now plans a 5,000 metre exploration program to validate a 3mln ounce potential target at Akyanga and issue an updated scoping study by the end of 2017.

In Slovakia the firm also holds its flagship Kremnica mining licence area and the Lutila exploration licence, giving it rights to explore an area to the south of Kremnica.

In July , Ortac was boosted with a legal win to proceedings brought against the District Environmental Office (DEO) in Ziar nad Hronom, a town in Slovakia’s Banská Bystrica region concerning underground mining.

Ortac was also advised by its lawyers that it can go ahead with an application for surface mining, a process which it said had been held up due to actions of local opposition groups.

In September, the group boosted its interest in fellow metals explorer and another private firm Andiamo to 26.99% for £50,000 in cash.

Carellas says the firm is "picking up where they left off" with their projects as a result of the renewed interest in gold.

Andiamo holds the 252 sq km Haykota exploration licence, prospective for copper and gold, around 50km south west of the Bisha mine in a similar geological environment.

In August, Ortac exercised its right to take a 19.35% stake in Zambian firm Zamsort, which has the Kalaba Cu-Co project, which is on the cusp of production.

The site consists of a small-scale mining licence (SML) enclosed within a 999.28 sq km large scale prospecting licence (LPL).

It has an estimated non-JORC oxide resource of 16.59 million tonnes at 0.94% copper equivalent estimated in the small scale mining licence on limited exploration drilling carried out during the late 1990's

The group is on the cusp of completing its initial commercial scale demonstration plant to produce copper and cobalt.

Carellas noted that the copper price had not played out as well as gold but the project is still attracting quite a lot of interest and hopefully will continue to do so.

Ortac shares are still lower than they were a year ago but have seen an upsurge in recent weeks.

Since October 14 (around the time of lifting the CASA stake) this year they have risen 50% to where they are now at 0.03p, and within that period had climbed even higher. Definitely a case of watch this space..

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