AIM-listed Premier African Minerals resumes spodumene production at Zulu lithium mine in Zimbabwe

By Thulani Mpofu September 22, 2023

UK-headquartered metals miner Premier African Minerals (Premier) has finished installing a RHA ball mill at its Zulu Lithium and Tantalum Mine in western Zimbabwe, paving the way for resumption of spodumene production at the asset.

Premier, which is listed on AIM, suspended production in June after it detected a defect on its newly-built plant. This led to a fallout with Chinese company Canmax, which in June 2022 provided $35mn in prefunding to the miner to facilitate construction of the processing line. Premier was supposed to start delivering spodumene to Canmax with effect from the first quarter of 2023. The parties resolved their dispute in August.   

Premier chief executive George Roach said in an update on September 21 that the completion of the installation of the mill includes 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 tonnes monthly of spodumene from November 2023 at the Zulu mine.

“The commissioning phase is now planned to commence from today with first material expected to be fed through the mill on Monday [September 25,” he said.

“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.”

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