Premier set to resume production
Nqobile Bhebhe, [email protected]
Premier African Minerals, an AIM-listed natural resource company has completed installing key plant components at its Fort Rixon lithium mine paving the way for the resumption of open pit mining operations next week in line with set timelines.
The mining entity has set monthly production of up to 1000 tonnes of spodumene from November.
Spodumene is a battery-grade product, which is key for the future of electric cars.
In an update yesterday, chief executive officer Mr George Roach said the installation of the Mill including all necessary feeds and discharge components, pumps, and control circuitry has been completed.
“Subsequent to our update of 23 August 2023, I am pleased to confirm the completion of the installation of the Mill including all necessary feeds and discharge components, pumps, control circuitry and grinding media requirements that is expected to support planned production of up to 1,000 tons per month of spodumene from November 2023 at Zulu.
“The commissioning phase is now planned to commence from today (yesterday) with first material expected to be fed through the Mill on Monday, 25 September 2023.”
Added Mr Roach, “Open pit mining operations at Zulu are expected to resume next week and while there is already substantial material on the run-of-mine pad, it remains critical that the plant has sufficient ore for current processing.”
In recent months, the mining house has been installing key equipment and modifying parts of the plant.
Speaking during a recent StockBox chat, a media platform for listed companies to connect with investors monitored by Business Chronicle, Mr Roach expressed optimism that the plant would meet set timelines.
He said the intention is to have production in October with the original first shipment date set for October 25.
“It’s a tight timeline, we will be working really hard but it’s realistic. I would like to see production before the end of September. I am pretty confident that the initial 1 000 tonnes per month that should be shipped during the course of November is going to be met.”
Lithium is the booming mineral in the Zimbabwean mining sector, with world demand rapidly rising as manufacture of lithium-ion batteries soars and Zimbabwe holds one of the largest reserves in Africa of the preferred hard rock deposits and the most easily accessible.
Lithium has already proved its position as a strategic mineral given its role in the storage, use and transfer of energy, which has touched the globe through use of smartphones for global communication, laptops, electric grid stability, and storage to power homes, and electric vehicles.
Due to the emerging electric motor vehicle industry, there is increased international demand for the lithium mineral known as “white oil”, which is used for manufacturing batteries. @nqobilebhebhe