London-based mining company Alterian is seeking partners for the development of copper assets at the Agdz mine in the Anti-Atlas mountains in Morocco.
Alterian’s Chairman Charles Bray made the announcement and said discussions are ongoing with potential partners. Agdz site was formerly owned by Elemental Altus Royalties and was admitted to the main market of the London Stock Exchange in October.
The mine is one of 14 projects the Company intends to vend to Eastinco, subject to Eastinco completing its proposed admission on the LSE Standard List. The firm is currently preparing for a drilling program at the mine and copper production expected to start in five or seven years time. The company recently reported a discovery of “high-grade copper and silver” with samples showing “highly encouraging results.”
Mining in Morocco
Mining accounts for 35% of Morocco’s foreign trade and 6% of its GDP. But, Bray says, the country’s potential as a copper producer remains under-explored, partly due to the ease with which copper has been mined in Latin America.
That neglect will be hard to sustain as the world faces the prospect of a long-term copper shortage. Copper is needed for electric vehicles, wind and solar power, as well as for traditional uses in construction, infrastructure, machinery and transport. It is often dubbed the “metal of electrification.” However, the extraction and treatment process of copper can have a damaging impact on people and nature due to the use of sulphuric acid, which can cause land degradation, deforestation, acid rain, and pollution of water resources.
S&P Global has forecast that copper demand may nearly double by 2035. The executive argued that the under-exploration of Moroccan copper assets is partially due to the ease of copper mining in Latin America, adding that the situation is likely to change ahead of a long-term copper shortage.