London Stock Exchange-listed mining and exploration junior Premier African Minerals Limited said the exploration work conducted on the Zulu lithium and tantalum project in Bulawayo indicated that both lithium and tantalum recovery may be a viable option.
According to the company’s Chief Executive Statement for Unaudited Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2021, the group is optimistic that the Zulu project is strategic and is planning on further exploration.
“Exploration work conducted on Zulu during prior periods indicated that both lithium and tantalum recovery may be a viable option. The Group views this project as strategic and exploration work will be continued in the future, cash flow permitting,” the statement reads in part.
In July, the company commissioned the second drilling rig is on site. Despite the Covid-19 related lockdowns and travel restrictions in the Southern African Development Community region, Zulu continued to make positive progress in the drilling program that is central to Zulu’s Definitive Feasibility Study (‘DFS’).
In August, Premier confirmed that it remains on track with its plans to prepare Zulu’s DFS in line with previously reported timelines.
On 16 August 2021, Premier published an updated Zulu Scoping Study to reflect the current Spodumene selling prices, together with current costings.
Premier CEO George Roach says surging Covid-19 infections in the Southern African Development Community region is not helping at Zulu, where travel and other restrictions are impacting the drilling programme. “Despite this, the rigs continue to operate and our laboratory equipment is now only awaiting import clearance to Zimbabwe.”
He adds that the drilling is just one component of the DFS.
“In the background, important other work is underway, including that associated with the environment, water management, tailings management, geotechnical assessment, preparation for additional metallurgical studies, logistics route planning and cost estimates.”
Thus far, Premier still expects to complete the study within the anticipated timelines and a variation to that effect will be communicated if necessary.
However, in the light of surging spodumene concentrate prices, Premier has also commissioned a review of the Zulu scoping study, with the intention of both better understanding the overall potential value of Zulu and to assess potentially reversing the current impairment of this project.