About Hanno

Hanno Resources is a mineral exploration company focused on the Reguibat Shield of northwest Africa.


Western Sahara

Western Sahara is classified by the UN as a non-self governing territory and is formally called the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic.


Our Projects

Hanno’s exploration interests include iron ore, gold and base metals.


Hanno Resources is a mineral exploration company focused on the Reguibat Shield of northwest Africa. The company completed an exclusive 4-year Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) evaluating the mineral potential of Western Sahara in June 2011, earning first right to licence up to 20,000km2 of ground. The results of the TCA have given Hanno significant first mover advantage in this highly prospective but very sparsely unexplored area.


Alan Stein, Chairman

Alan has over 25 years experience in the oil and gas industry and was a founder and CEO of Ophir Energy Plc from 2004 to 2012. Through Ophir, and previously as a founder and Managing Director of Fusion Oil & Gas, Alan has over 15 years involvement in Western Sahara and along with the other founders of Hanno has built a strong relationship with the SADR Government, leading to Hanno’s exclusive 4 year Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) to evaluate the mineral potential of Western Sahara. Alan is currently the Non-Executive Chairman of Neon Energy and a Non-Executive Director of Buccaneer Energy and Daco Energy.

Caedmon Marriott, Managing DirectorIron Ore

Caedmon has been Managing Director of Hanno since April 2009 and has overseen the completion of the TCA with the SADR Government and built and managed Hanno’s operating presence and exploration program in the country. Caedmon previously worked as a buy-side mining analyst at JPMorgan Asset Management (JPMorgan Natural Resources Fund), Och-Ziff Capital Management and GLG Partners (GLG Global Mining Fund) where he focused on public and private equity investments in small-to-medium sized early stage mining companies.

Peter Dolan, Non-Executive Director

Peter has over 40 years experience in the oil and gas industry and geoscience consulting, most recently as non-executive Chairman of Ikon Science. Peter was a founder and Executive Chairman of Fusion Oil & Gas from 1997 to 2003 and later became a founder and Director of Ophir Energy in 2004 to 2007. As part of building the exploration portfolio of Fusion, Peter was involved in the early negotiations to win the confidence of the SADR Government and secure rights of first refusal to explore offshore SADR. Peter is a Director and founder of several other companies and is Chartered Fellow of the Geological Society and a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the Energy Institute.

Management and Advisors

Alexander Nutter, Technical Directorhaouliaw

Alex has over 40 years experience in mineral exploration, resource evaluation, mining geology and project feasibility, including extensive experience in executive and project management positions for Australian and International mining companies in Australia and overseas. Most recently he spent 12 years as an Executive Director of Grange Resources, a publicly listed Australian mining and exploration company developing an iron ore project in Western Australia. Commodity experience includes iron ore, base metals, gold, mineral sands, coal and chromite. Alex is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and a Member of the Geological Society of Australia.

Bachir Mehdi Bahya, Country Manager

Bachir is a Saharawi national responsible for managing all of Hanno’s local logistics and operations, he speaks fluent Arabic, Spanish, English and French. In 2002 Bachir led the BBC trip through Western Sahara for Michael Palin’s Sahara travel program.

Joshua Combs, Geologist

Joshua has been with Hanno since March 2012, primarily involved with the large scale exploration program in Western Sahara. His main focus has been on regional scale geological mapping and ASTER target evaluation. Before joining Hanno, Joshua had previously gained experience in both mine site and exploration geology, working on a number of mine sites and exploration programs in Western Australia including both gold and manganese mines.

Saleh Lehbib Nayem, Geologist

Saleh is a Saharawi national and has been with Hanno since October 2011. Supported by Hanno, Saleh is undertaking a PhD on the Metallogenic Potential of Western Sahara at the University of Barcelona and has been involved in Hanno’s regional scale geological mapping and target generation programs.



The founders of Hanno have been involved in Western Sahara for over 15 years and have built a strong relationship with the SADR Government. Initially as Fusion Oil & Gas they conducted a Technical Appraisal of the oil and gas potential of the SADR from 1997 to 2003. Later within Ophir Energy this Technical Appraisal was used as the basis to help lead an oil licencing round in Houston in May 2005. This sustained involvement in Western Sahara and with the Saharawi cause lead to Hanno’s exclusive 4 year mineral based Technical Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed in March 2007. This agreement was completed in June 2011 earning Hanno the first right to licence 20,000km2 of ground in Western Sahara.


Under the terms of the TCA Hanno undertook to provide a technical appraisal of the mineral potential of the SADR on behalf of the Government. The work requirements of the TCA were split into two phases each lasting 24months:

Phase One

  • Conduct a full technical overview of the mineral potential of the onshore SADR, to include adjacent activity in neighbouring countries, from all available data sources
  • Acquisition and analysis of regional satellite data and preparation of a digital database
  • Field reconnaissance visits and reports with appropriate analysis of samples collected
  • Completion of integrated assessment (satellite mapping tied to field observations and sampling)
  • Preparation of hydrogeological maps of the Liberated Territories utilising satellite imagery and any available legacy geological data
  • Collation of all water-well data (including well location, flow rate, and if practical, analysis of water produced)sadrrig
  • Site investigation of existing water-well and natural water sources
  • Report detailing key factors currently limiting water production and recommendation of forward program
  • Assistance with planning water-well drilling program

Phase Two

  • Detailed analysis of all available satellite and photographic/remote sensing data over areas of interest highlighted in Phase One
  • Detailed ground reconnaissance of areas of interest
  • Field mapping, geophysical surveying and detailed sampling of areas of interest (as appropriate), and mineralogical/geochemical analysis of samples as required


Political History

Western Sahara Advisory Opinion 16 October 1975

Western Sahara is classified by the UN as a non-self governing territory. The territory was a colony of Spain from 1884 to 1975 and was informally referred to as “Spanish Sahara”. The end of Spanish colonisation in 1975 was marked by the illegal partition of the territory between Morocco and Mauritania. This partition was in contravention to previous Spanish commitments to comply with defined UN decolonisation procedures, particularly with respect to the organisation of a referendum of self-determination.

The Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic was proclaimed by the Polisario as representatives of the indigenous people of the territory of Western Sahara on 27 February 1976, following the final withdrawal of Spanish colonial government and military. The SADR is a full member of the African Union and is recognised by over 80 countries. Since 1976 Morocco has illegally occupied Western Sahara, in contravention of the UN decolonisation procedure and has repeatedly frustrated the rights of the Saharawi people to self-determination.

The International Courts of Justice (ICJ) examined Moroccan and Mauritanian claims of sovereignty over the territory in 1975 and concluded that “the materials and information presented to it do not establish any tie of territorial sovereignty between the Territory and the Kingdom of Morocco or the Mauritanian entity”.

Morocco invaded Western Sahara in 1975 with the so called “Green March” leading to the mass exodus of 165,000 Saharawi citizens over the eastern border of the Territory. These Saharawi refugees settled in tented camps close to the border near the Algerian town of Tindouf where they have been living for 39years.

In 1979 Mauritania signed a formal treaty with the Polisario agreeing to withdraw all territorial claims to Western Sahara and formally recognise the SADR as the legitimate sovereign authority of Western Sahara. Moroccan forces immediately moved to occupy the territory vacated by Mauritanian forces.

In 1988 both parties to the conflict agreed to a UN and OAU Settlement Plan, adopted in UN Security Council resolutions, which mandated the establishment of the UN Mission for a Referendum on the Western Sahara (MINURSO). This eventually lead to the declaration of a cease-fire in 1991 with the aim of holding a referendum in February 1992 to determine the wishes of the Saharawi people.


Since 1992 Morocco has repeatedly interfered with and stalled the implementation of the referendum of self-determination and hence MINURSO remains the longest running UN mission anywhere in the world. The situation on the ground remains the same as at the time of the ceasefire and deployment of MINURSO whereby Morocco occupies approximately two thirds of the country to the west of the berm and buffer zone (including the north eastern corner of the sovereign state of Mauritania) and the Polisario controls the remaining third of the country to the east of the berm along the border with Mauritania.

Despite well documented incidents of human rights violations and persecution of Saharawi citizens by Moroccan forces within the Moroccan Occupied Territories of Western Sahara (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International), MINURSO does not have a human rights brief within its mandate. Recent calls have been made by the USA and other UN Security Council members to include human rights within the renewal of MINURSO’s role but still MINURSO remains the only UN mission without a human rights mandate.


Natural Resources

In 2002 UN Under-Secretary General of Legal Affairs Hans Correll issued a legal opinion to the Security Council regarding the exploration for and exploitation of natural resources within Western Sahara. In this he reaffirmed that Morocco has no sovereignty over Western Sahara and that if exploration and exploitation of the natural resources of the Territory “were to proceed in disregard of the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara, this would be in violation of the international law principles applicable to mineral resource activities in Non-Self Governing Territories”.

Hanno has been exploring in Western Sahara in partnership with the Government of the SADR since 2007. A Technical Cooperation Agreement assessing the mineral prospectivity of the country was completed in June 2011 and continuing operations on the ground continue in the interests and wishes of the Saharawi people.


For further information on natural resources in Western Sahara please see the website of the SADR Petroleum and Mining Authority here.


Geological Overviewhannopermits

The eastern part of Western Sahara, corresponding approximately to the Liberated Territories of the SADR, sits upon the Reguibat Shield. The Reguibat Shield forms the northern part of the West African Craton and is divided into southwest Archean and northeast Proterozoic portions.

As part of the TCA Hanno has geologically mapped the Liberated Territories of Western Sahara at 1:200,000 scale based on Landsat satellite interpretation along with extensive ground truthing with field mapping; best known historic mapping of the area was at 1:1,000,000 scale. The area is geologically unexplored with modern techniques due to the political situation and Hanno has spent over 5 years of grassroots exploration gaining knowledge and understanding of the geology as well as operational and logistical experience.

Exploration Permits

Hanno signed 7 Exploration Permits with the Government of the SADR in October 2014 based on the SADR Mining Law. The Permits cover a total area of 13,989km2 and allow for the exploration of all minerals.

Exploration Permits EP001, EP002 and EP003 cover the Oum Abana Greenstone Belt and are highly prospective for gold and base metals whilst Exploration Permits EP004, EP005, EP006 and EP007 cover the Tiris Iron Ore Province and are highly prospective for iron ore.


Tiris Iron Ore Provincetirisironorepermits

The Zouerate Iron Ore Complex in Mauritania produces approximately 14Mt/yr of iron ore and lies within the Tiris Iron Ore Province. Exploration work by Hanno has confirmed the extension of the Tiris Iron Ore Province from Mauritania into Western Sahara.

Hanno’s Exploration Permits EP004, EP005, EP006 and EP007 cover a major part of the Tiris Iron Ore Province. Over 60 iron targets based on spectral interpretation of Landsat satellite imagery were investigated with the majority confirmed to be high-grade coarse-grained magnetite quartzite with Fe grades of 29.6% to 69.6%. An exploration target of 4 to 5 billion tonnes of iron ore has been estimated based on geological mapping of the iron units.

Gleibat Haoulia

The Gleibat Houlia project area is made up of 3 hills, Gleibat Haoulia North, Gleibat Haoulia West and Gleibat Haoulia East. An exploration target size of 500 to 600Mt of iron ore is estimated for the area based of detailed field mapping. Average sample composition from the area is 37.5% Fe with low impurities of Al2O3, P and S.

Farfariat boura

The Farfariat project area is made up of over 20 hills covering over 400km2. A conservative exploration target of >750Mt of iron ore is estimated for the area based on detailed field mapping. Average sample composition from the area is 42.3% Fe with low impurities of Al2O3, P and S.


The Touaizerfaten project area consists of a chain of hills 45km long. An exploration target of >1,200Mt of iron ore is estimated for the area based on detailed field mapping. Average sample composition from the area is 40.4% Fe.


Oum Abana Greenstone Beltlabiadaucu

Exploration Permits EP001, EP002 and EP003 cover 6,000km2 of the Oum Abana Greenstone Belt, believed to be the largest Paleoproterzoic age greenstone terrane on the Reguibat Shield, approximately 150km in length and 40km in width. ASTER and Landsat based remote sensing has generated a significant number of alteration targets across the area and this region is a major focus of Hanno’s gold and base metal exploration.

Geological mapping shows the area consists of a number of NW-SE striking terranes, structurally juxtaposed during an accretion event thought to be the Eburnean Orogeny. The greenstone belt is primarily composed of interbedded metabasalt, dolerite, gabbro, chert and metasediments and also contains a N-S striking mafic-ultramafic complex, a layered mafic intrusion, consisting of anorthosite and ultramafics and numerous later intrusions of various felsic to mafic compositions.

Agarasras Labiad

Agarasras Labiad was identified by ASTER remote sensing and the target was interpreted as a sheared granite intrusion that had been emplaced by quartz veining as evidenced by significant quartz shedding visible on satellite imagery. Field observations confirmed this interpretation. Significant pyrite mineralisation was observed within the granite host and initial sampling of the quartz veins shows anomalous mineralisation of gold, silver and copper of up to 21.3 grams per tonne of gold.

Target Area G52g52

Target Area G52 was identified by Landsat remote sensing and lies approximately 6km south of Agarasras Labiad. Initial regional scale soil sampling generated a subtle gold-in-soil anomaly, follow up sampling at 100 x 100m spacing has generated a strong gold-in-soil anomaly of up to 0.9g/t Au along 1km in strike and 400m width. Field investigation found mineralised quartz veins containing pyrite and chalcopyrite and interpreted the area as a sequence of interbedded metabasalts and metasediments intruded by a granite body. Visible gold has been found in quartz veins, with sample C00947 giving a result of 16,854g/t Au.



Perth, Western Australia

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