Zulu lithium/tantalum project pilot plant, Zimbabwe – update

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2nd June 2023

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor


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Name of the Project
Zulu lithium/tantalum project pilot plant.

Fort Rixon, Zimbabwe.

Project Owner/s
Premier African Minerals.

Project Description
The proposed pilot plant at Premier’s Zulu project has a nameplate throughput of up to 190 t/h; however, it is planned to run at a more conservative 140 t/h at inception.

The pilot plant will use state-of-the-art, sensor-based ore sorting technologies that will facilitate the separation of run-of-mine material into components and, in so doing, likely increase available capacity in the flotation recovery circuits, where lithium minerals are recovered.

Ultimate production and recoveries are a factor of many variables, and the pilot plant is likely to assist in dealing with these variables, owing to the inherent flexibility of the use of multiple ore sorters.

Stockpiles of tantalum-, petalite- and mica-/lepidolite-rich material will facilitate further testwork and flowsheet development to ensure that this material is truly inventory for later profitable recovery.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
Not stated.

Capital Expenditure
Not stated.

Planned Start/End Date
Not stated.

Latest Developments
Premier African Minerals has fully commissioned the processing plant at its Zulu lithium and tantalum project, but first shipments have been delayed.

The plant supplier has advised that the milling and sizing component of the plant requires certain modifications to allow for full optimisation to design capacity throughput, and has recommended a staged approach to optimisation.

The modifications include the upgrade of screening, relocation of the mill and addition of cyclones to remove correctly sized material to the flotation plant.

The plant supplier has provided details and timelines for remedial action and, pending completion of this work, has advised that the expected production of concentrate to June 30, will be 1 376 t. Production for July and August will be 1 137 t a month, increasing to 2 359 t in September, 3 577 t in October and 4 471 t from December 1.

The delay in shipments means that Premier will not be able to ship its first spodumene to energy materials producer Canmax Technologies as per their agreement. Canmax may thus elect to cancel the marketing and prepayment agreement and require that the prepayment, plus interest, is settled within 90 days following notice.

Premier has previously advised that the delays have caused its cash to be constrained. The recent exercise of options and issuing the remaining shares free from pre-emptive rights by way of direct placement have provided interim relief for this position. Further funding may need to be sought if there were any further significant shipment delays, the company has said.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Premier African Minerals, tel +27 100 201281 or email

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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