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Ortac to accelerate development of its African investments

45%-owned Casa Mining is about to kick off the first phase of a major diamond drill programme at Misisi

Gold key
Following conversion of loan notes, Ortac hold around 45% of Casa Mining.

Shares in Ortac Resources PLC shot up to 3.24p from 2.87p overnight after the company signalled its intention to accelerate the development of its African investments.

The company said that, following the plan to develop the Slovakian project with a local joint venture partner, chief executive officer Vasillios Carellas will focus in the near-term on supporting the development of  Casa Mining's Misisi gold project, where the first phase of a major diamond drill programme is about to commence. Ortac has a 45% equity interest in Casa.

READ Ortac Resources raises new capital to support Casa Mining venture

READ Ortac Resources soars on possible joint venture partner for Sturec gold mine project in Slovakia

The drilling contractor, Orezone Drilling, has mobilised its diamond drill rig and drilling operations are expected to commence within the next one-to-two weeks.

Orezone Drilling has also agreed to look at the possibility of commissioning CASA's own diamond drill rig, located on site at its camp at Misisi, which should enable CASA to speed up the drill programme and complete the 15-hole, 2,700m drilling programme over the next two to three months. 

Meanwhile, the company is in advanced discussions with Zamsort to convert its 19.35% convertible loan notes into an equity position, after which Nick von Schirnding will join the board of Zamsort.

Zamsort is having talks with potential lenders to raise finance to complete the construction of the copper-cobalt leach plant at its Kabala deposit.

In Eritrea, Andiamo Exploration, in which Ortac holds an 18.5% stake, has completed a 16-hole drilling programme.

Samples are currently undergoing preparation before being shipped off for analysis, which should be completed within the next six weeks.

READ Ortac Resources associate to start drilling in Eritrea

Lastly, there are to be a number of changes to the Ortac board.

Current chairman, Anthony Balme, will step down at the annual general meeting in September to be succeeded by Nick von Schirnding, who is currently a non-executive director.

Another non-exec, Paul Heber, has decided to retire from the board.

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