Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter
PREMIER African Minerals Limited, which is developing the Zulu Lithium and Tantalum Project in Insiza District, Matabeleland South province, says it is in receipt of approximately US$18.1 million after concluding a marketing and pre-payment agreement.
In June, the mining firm announced that it had secured US$35 million pre-funding to enable the construction and commissioning of a large-scale pilot plant at the project.
Suzhou TA&A Ultra Clean Technology company, a China-based company principally engaged in the research, development, production, and sale of anti-static ultra-clean products provided the funding.
The funds will allow Premier to establish a large-scale pilot plant at the Zulu Lithium and Tantalum Project.
In an update on Wednesday, Premier African Minerals announced that it had concluded the definitive transaction documents in respect of the marketing and pre-payment agreement and is in receipt of approximately US$18.1 million of the pre-payment required to have been paid to date.
The payment, it said, would be used for the Zulu plant fabricators and site contractors.
Fabrication and site construction are underway, with a projected completion date for commercial production expected in the first quarter of 2023.
Group chief executive officer, Mr George Roach, said the pre-payment is expected to be fully offset against future shipments within twelve months.
“I am pleased to confirm the signing of this agreement and the receipt of funds.
Fabrication, site design and construction are underway and projected commencement of commercial production is now scheduled for Quarter 1 of 2023.
The pre-payment is expected to be fully offset against future shipments inside of twelve months at the prevailing SC6 pricing,” he said.
“We have recently appointed independent project and construction management teams to assist in ensuring compliance with timelines and budgets.
“At the same time, there has been an improved turnaround in assays and we expect to release significant results as they come to hand.
Further updates on the construction of the pilot plant will be provided in due course.”
According to the pre-payment agreement, Suzhou TA&A agreed to provide a pre-funding totalling $34 644 385 with the balance to be paid in one lump sum following completion of the transaction documents.
The group has a diverse portfolio of projects, which include tungsten, rare earth elements, lithium and tantalum in Zimbabwe and lithium and gold in Mozambique, encompassing brownfield projects with near-term production potential to grass-roots exploration.
Premier African Minerals Limited is a multi-commodity mining and natural resource development company focused on Southern Africa with its RHA tungsten and Zulu lithium projects in Zimbabwe.