Premier Africa Minerals unveils infrastructure projects

Source: Premier Africa Minerals unveils infrastructure projects | The Chronicle

Premier Africa Minerals unveils infrastructure projects
Dam construction at Zulu Lithium Mine in Fort Rixon

Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter

PREMIER Africa Minerals chief executive officer, Mr George Roach says the lithium mining entity in Fort Rixon will gravitate towards agricultural activities to further uplift communities taking advantage of vast water bodies within the mining concession.

Mining operations commenced last week at the company’s multi-million dollar Zulu Lithium Mine located 80km from Bulawayo in Fort Rixon, Matabeleland South province.

The Zulu claim is generally regarded as potentially the largest undeveloped lithium bearing pegmatite in Zimbabwe.
The mine has 14 mineral claims covering a surface area of 3,5km2 which are prospective for lithium and tantalum mineralisation.

Speaking on the sidelines of a traditional ceremony organised by the local community to mark the start of mining operations last Friday, Mr Roach said there are vast prospects for agricultural activities in the area that will be funded by the company.

A massive dam is under construction along Machakwe River and surplus water is earmarked for an irrigation scheme, which will contribute to food security in the area.

The development is in line with the Second Republic’s philosophy: ‘Ilizwe lakhiwa ngabaninilo as local communities will be empowered to be masters of their own destiny.

In previous interviews, officials indicated that a lot of research has been done with regard to setting up an irrigation scheme in the area.

Mr Roach said his company was committed to boosting agricultural production in the area hence it is building a dam which will have water for irrigation.

“It is my intention to look at some agricultural development in this area and we want to engage agronomists to assist us on the best crops to grow in this area. That’s a very important part of our objectives. Agricultural developments are usually much more sustainable in the long term and it engages and secures long-term sustainability of infrastructure,” he said.

Mr Roach said agriculture should benefit from the activities at the mine hence the decision to establish an irrigation scheme.

Zulu Lithium to venture into agricultural activities using surplus water from the dam

He said his company prioritises the involvement of the community in its activities because the mine workers and the locals are one community.

“I am very pleased that we have been able to build this mine with the involvement of the people of Zimbabwe and the local community. We will need the involvement of everyone and guidance to make sure that we develop the mine for everyone’s benefit,” said Mr Roach.

Zulu Lithium to venture into agricultural activities using surplus water from the dam

Chief Jahana, under whose jurisdiction the mine falls, welcomed the start of the mining operations saying the area is primed for massive development. We welcome the mining firm and let us as a community co-exists and cooperate. We have seen a lot of people being employed here.

“The company has pledged several community infrastructure developments such as upgrading of roads, schools and dam construction. Work has already started on some of the projects,” said Chief Jahana.

Lithium is a mineral used in the manufacture of batteries and its demand has risen sharply because of the production of electric cars, especially in developed countries that want to phase out fossil fuels such as petrol and diesel.