HARARE, June 21 (The Source) – AIM-listed junior miner, Premier African Minerals says it will produce commercial grade lithium and tantalum at its Zulu mine in south central Zimbabwe after carrying out metallurgical tests.
Premier, which also owns 49 percent of RHA Tungsten mine in Kamativi and has three other mining projects in the country, is in the process of evaluating the project to develop a beneficiation process for the lithium ore.
The Zulu lithium project near Fort Rixon, has an estimated 20.1 million tonnes grading 1.06 percent lithium oxide.
“We are very excited with these excellent initial metallurgical test work results. These results demonstrate that we can produce a commercial grade, high quality lithium mineral concentrates from both the spodumene and petalite mineralisation at Zulu project. We will continue to conduct further testing to optimise the recoveries and grades, as well as improving the flowsheet design for the Zulu project,” Premier chief executive George Roach in a statement released last Friday.
The company said it plans more tests to establish capital and operating costs for the mine. It has previously said it was looking for investment to fund the mining operations.
Zulu project is wholly owned by Premier African Minerals. The group also has rare earth elements projects at Katete and Lubimbi as well as a project around the dormant Tinde Fluorspar Mine.
Zulu mine would become Zimbabwe’s second producer of lithium after Bikita Minerals in Masvingo. The mine holds the world’s largest known lithium deposits, estimated at 11 million tonnes.
The southern African country is already Africa’s largest lithium producer and fifth largest in the world with 900 tonnes in 2015.