JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Multicommodity mining and natural resources development company Premier African Minerals has completed a further 24 drill holes at its Zulu lithium prospect, in Zimbabwe, which the Aim-listed company says has delivered “spectacular” results.
The drilling reached 3 638.54 m since the initial 2 500 m drilling programme was completed. This resulted in a maiden inferred mineral resource estimate at Zulu of 20.1-million tonnes, grading 1.06% lithium oxide (Li₂O).
The current drilling programme is focused on expanding and upgrading the resources in the main zone, and further delineating the lithium mineralisation in the new south-eastern zone.
All of the 24 new drill holes have intersected mineralisation, with ZDD-45 having the best intersections so far. ZDD-45 was drilled on an apparent triple junction of step-out zones SO1, SO2 and the main zone. The intersected pegmatites are predominantly spodumene-rich, while petalite and lepidolite are scarce.
The current drilling programme aimed to upgrade and expand the resources and to convert the exploration targets in both the main zone and step-out zones to code compliant status.
According to Premier CEO George Roach, it is not often that a grade of 4.24% Li2O is seen in drill core. “Together with other known results previously reported, this supports our declared exploration target of 60-million to 80-million tonnes in the step-out zone.
“With true widths at about two-thirds of the drilled width, Zulu is now justifying our belief that this is a tier 1 asset. Results such as these strongly underwrite our recently released scoping study and fully support our confidence in this world-class deposit. At the same time, we are encouraged by the changing environment in Zimbabwe, particularly that, under new proposals related to lithium mining, we will be encouraged to develop to lithium carbonate production and may retain sole ownership of the entire project,” he highlighted.
Meanwhile, at its RHA tungsten mine, in Zimbabwe, Premier has completed the mining phase of a large bulk sample containing 8 272 t of ore from the openpit, of which 7 247 t have been processed.
The results will guide future openpit operations and cost effectiveness, or the blending of ore from the openpit with underground ore. Processing of the remaining component of openpit ore through the plant will take place when the mining contractor has completed the fragmentation of large boulders.
Meanwhile, Premier has issued 59.75-million new ordinary shares at an issue price of 0.5p apiece to African Mining and Exploration, the principal mining contractor at RHA, as payment for services rendered.
Following the issue, the company's issued share capital comprises 6.55-billion ordinary shares, with voting rights.
"With ongoing negotiations with potential partners in regard to Zulu lithium, and some additional stellar drilling results imminent, RHA is progressing as planned, and, with Premier having secured further funding, I sincerely believe that the value of Zulu and Circum holdings should be reflective in our market capitalisation,” noted Roach.
“Regardless of the performance at RHA during December 2017, Premier does not intend to provide any further finance to RHA for normal operations or capital unless RHA is trading profitably and then only for bridging finance,” he added.