Sunday Mail Correspondent
DIVERSIFIED mining firm, Premier African Mineral’s Zulu Lithium mining project in Matabeland South has been awarded an Exclusive Prospecting Order (EPO) in yet another boost to the Government’s target to achieve a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.
The EPO allows the company to invest in prospecting for lithium and other minerals in the area. Located in Fort Rixon, 80km from Bulawayo, the project is widely regarded as potentially the largest undeveloped lithium bearing pegmatite in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe is earmarked to be one of the top five producers of lithium in the world, as the country holds vast resources that remain untapped.
Global demand for lithium — a vital element for batteries used in electric vehicles — is on a crescendo in line with rising needs for electrically powered automobiles as governments and corporates embrace the global campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In a statement on Friday, Premier chief executive Mr George Roach expressed gratitude to the Government for the EPO.
“I am deeply appreciative of the Zimbabwe Government for the granting of
this substantial EPO and Premier will reciprocate with mobilisation for the commencement of the Definitive Feasibility
Study (“DFS”) on the Zulu deposit which has an estimated completion time of 14 months.
“It is important that there are further known lithium bearing pegmatites offering upside to Zulu as well as historic small gold mines, potential molybdenite and many scheelite (a tungsten mineral) occurrences within the area.”
Mr Roach said studies peer review studies had revealed that the Zulu Lithium project was “most encouraging”.
“Zulu remains a significant deposit.
“Premier has previously published an in-house maiden Inferred mineral resource estimate.
“Since the maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, the geological model has been optimised as at least six new zones of lithium mineralisation have been discovered, supporting an exploration target of up to 80 million tonnes.
“Test work conducted by Anzaplan in Germany on behalf of Premier confirmed that low iron spodumene concentrates of up to 6, 5 percent contained Lithium equivalent was attainable and an independent scoping study prepared by Bara Consulting for Zulu was most encouraging.”