Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
GOVERNMENT has granted Premier African Resources an Exclusive Prospecting Order (EPO) for its Zulu Lithium and Tantalite projects in Matabeleland region.
The London Stock Exchange-listed company had recently engaged the Mining Affairs Board seeking an EPO.
Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Engineer Polite Kambamura, confirmed the acquisition of the EPO by Premier African Minerals to ZBCtv news.
“Yes, I can confirm that Premier Mineral Resources managed to get an exclusive prospecting order to kick start the mining of lithium in the country,” he said.
“This is in line with the Government Mining Development Policy and Zimbabwe is open for business mantra in order to be able to increase mining output.”
Of late small-scale miners have objected to the issuance of 40 EPOs that the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development gazetted to potential mining investors early this year. In the past, small-scale miners were used to pegging anywhere openly and mining wherever they liked but the coming in of EPOs stopped the practice.
Zimbabwe is set to benefit from its vast lithium deposits after investors such as the Zimbabwe Lithium Company and Prospect Resources have shown commitment to extracting the mineral in Kamativi and Arcadia near Harare respectively. Lithium is used to produce batteries for electric cars, which are predominantly becoming famous around the world.
On the other hand, tantalite is a heavy black mineral mostly used in the electronics industry for the production of electronic capacitors for cellphones and laptop computer chips, among others. Due to global demand, the price for tantalite on the international commodities market has occasionally soared.
Recently, Premier announced that it was waiting for the country’s power utility, Zesa, to connect its RHA Tungsten Mine to the national grid to enable production to get underway within the next four months. Site work at Zulu project near Insiza in Matabeleland South has also started with the construction of a suitable substation for electrification of the mine.
Premier African Minerals is a multi-commodity mining and natural resource development company focused on Southern Africa with its RHA Tungsten and Zulu Lithium projects in Zimbabwe. The company has a diverse portfolio of projects, which include tungsten, rare earth elements, lithium and tantalum in Zimbabwe, encompassing brownfield projects with near-term production potential to grass-roots exploration. — @okazunga