DIVERSIFIED and Zimbabwe-focused mining group, Premier African Minerals has initiated a definitive feasibility study (DFS) and a funding strategy to be applied in future development of its Zulu lithium and tantalum project in Matabeleland South.
The Zulu deposits, which are owned by Premier, are among the 25 projects that were recently granted Exclusive Prospecting Orders by Government for the next three years to March 2024.
Premier said the Zulu deposits were contained within an Exclusive Prospecting Rights area greater than 200 square kilometres with major potential lithium, cesium, tantalum pegmatite prospects.
The company said the existing resource estimate was already defined and described in the announcement made on 18 March 2021.
“On 20 November 2017, we announced the results of Zulu scoping study that showed that there is an opportunity to develop a robust, low capital cost lithium mine with low operating costs,” Premier African Minerals chief executive officer, Mr George Roach said in a recent public update.
“This, combined with strong prices for spodumene concentrates and sustained demand for high-grade petalite, support our confidence that the next step for Zulu is the completion of a DFS.
“The projected timeline to complete the DFS at Zulu has been ratified by Bara Consulting and their appointment is immediate.”
Bara Consulting is a United Kingdom-headquartered independent engineering consultancy focused on serving the global mining industry.
It undertakes studies ranging from conceptual to full definitive feasibility studies.
Mr Roach said the projected timeline to complete the DFS at Zulu has been ratified by Bara and their appointment was immediate.
He said completion in this timeline would be subject to certain laboratories to be appointed to complete additional test work and assays within the allotted time frames.
Premier has also appointed a drilling company, Geodrill, as the main drillers at Zulu and are familiar with the region and the location. It is hoped that mobilisation is expected to be less time-consuming and more effective.
Geodrill will also provide certain utilities to the exploration camp and these will include solar power and groundwater resources as well as scalable workshop and basic housing.
“The appointment of Geodrill is effective immediately and mobilisation is commencing. Premier has sufficient funds to pay the mobilisation charges from existing resources and the full drilling camp is now expected to be completed and operational by the end of April 2021,” said Mr Roach.
He said a geological mineral processing engineering firm, Hainstech, has completed a site visit to Zulu and reported on the deposit and its potential as announced on 1 August 2017.
“Hainstech will provide guidance in regard to both the resource development and the proposed flow sheet to follow from expanded test work to be conducted during the completion of the DFS.
Premier is yet to conclude final financing details but expects to update shareholders at its next annual general meeting, which is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, said Mr Roach.