30 June 2013

Zimbabwe: Premier African Minerals to Start Small-Scale Mining

ALTERNATIVE Investment Market-listed resource company, Premier African Minerals Limited intends to implement exploration and development programmes in the Matabeleland North province with a view to future production.

The company is set to start small-scale tungsten mining operation next year.

The RHA Tungsten Project-Zimbabwe covers a 1 800 hectare piece of land near Hwange.

The company's executive chairman and chief executive, George Roach said the project had access via the main Bulawayo-Victoria Falls tarred road.

"The project, which we believe shows great potential to be developed into a low-capital and operating cost mine in the near term, boasts excellent infrastructure with electrical power available from a Zesa power line, and industrial water available from the mine dam and domestic water available from a borehole," said Roach.

"Intermittent small scale mining was conducted at RHA and the adjacent Tung mine, which Premier has an option to acquire, 5km away. Between 1931 and 1979 the mines jointly produced 1 247 tonnes of concentrate at an average concentrate grade of 65% WO3," he said.

The company which has mineral projects located in west and southern Africa, was admitted to the Alternative Investment Market in December last year and raised US$2,4 million gross of expenses to advance its key mineral projects in Zimbabwe.

Roach said the second development project located in Katete in Hwange boasts of a large carbonatite complex exposed at surface level, with the potential to be developed as an open pit, low-strip mining project.

"The project, which spans 3 750 hectares covering 25 mineral claim blocks in the Matabeleland north province in north-west Zimbabwe, can be accessed via national highways and has a good source of power and water; important factors to have in place when considering developing mining projects," he said.

Katete has had previous exploration work undertaken by Anglo American in the 1970s, which identified the presence of significant mineralisation and highlighted the potentially large structure hosted.

"As a company, we have a defined strategy focussed on value creation from our diverse multi-commodity asset base, which includes tungsten, rare earth elements (REE), gold, lithium, tantalum and fluorspar in Zimbabwe and Togo in Africa," he said.

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