Premier African Minerals sees good lithium grades from nearby locations

Itai Ndongwe 

HARARE – Premier African Minerals said that drill results from its Zulu lithium plant in Zimbabwe yielded good grades in nearby locations outside of the present mining developments.

The company said certain sections of the Southeast pegmatite have a high potential for rock-based lithium, and that geological logging shows that the lithium mineralisation in this pegmatite is almost entirely spodumene.

Commenting on the developments, CEO George Roach said, “Test work in our laboratory at Zulu has consistently confirmed that Zulu can produce SC6 at acceptable grades from a contained spodumene content in the ore body as low as 4%, representing a potential economic cut-off grade as low as 0.37% Li2O when the contained mineral is spodumene.

“For reference purposes, a grade of 1% Li2O when the mineralisation is all spodumene, is the equivalent of 12.5% of the ore body being made up of the mineral spodumene.”

Roach said that the revised construction timeline at Zulu is on track, with the new mill to be installed by the end of the month and production to begin in February.The first materials have arrived at the site, with additional shipments on their way, and no complications with ore transport to the Run of Mine pad are expected, according to the statement.

“Whilst mining operations are a major cash cost at present, the future benefit when operations are underway at much reduced stripping ratios will more than offset this cost.

“Preliminary indications from the company’s internal budget at this time model an average mine gate cost of the order of $800 per ton for SC6 for the first 12 months.
“This discounts any technical grade spodumene produced and sold and any sale of any lepidolite and other mica-rich concentrates or future tantalum production.”
Meanwhile, the company raised £2.4 million before expenses through a 0.23p ordinary share offering to fund the Zulu Lithium and Tantalum Project.Two institutional investors joined the equity round.

Premier African is on pace to begin revenue-generating production in February 2024, following the installation of the 55-ton-per-hour ball mill and other accompanying buildings, which is slated to be completed in late January/early February.

In addition to the investment round, Premier African has conditionally resolved the payment of $2.5 million (£2 million) in invoices by issuing additional ordinary shares to Zulu open pit mining contractor JR Goddard Contracting at 0.26 pence apiece.

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