LONDON-LISTED commodity firm Premier African Minerals has revealed that its flagship tungsten project in Zimbabwe could be in production before the end of this year.
Releasing a positive exploration update from the project ‒ which is located in the prospective Kamativi tin belt in north-west Zimbabwe ‒ the company confirmed that it had the potential to be developed into a low capital and operating cost tungsten mine in the near term.
Tungsten is used to make hard materials such as equipment used in the armaments, mining, petroleum and construction industries, as well as to make heavy metal alloys, steels and other chemical compounds.
Premier CEO George Roach said: “Given the availability of water and power at our RHA property, and the relative simplicity of the required processing plant, we believe that we will be able to commence development with a view to production potentially before the end of 2013.”
He said Premier African Minerals was planning to carry out further surface trenching and said sampling was scheduled to be undertaken before the end of March. This would be undertaken to ascertain and confirm the mineral surface location and establish other details.
Apart from its Zimbabwe expansion through the planned tungsten mine, Premier African Minerals reported last month that three of its Southern Togo exploration permits for a project covering phosphates, uranium and rare earth mineral deposits had been renewed another two years.
“On a wider level, we continue to implement our business strategy of building shareholder value through strategic, cost-effective acquisitions and joint-venture partnerships, while advancing our multi-commodity portfolio that already consists of preproduction assets and early-stage exploration projects, primarily in Zimbabwe and Togo,” Roach said.
Zimbabwe is considered a lucrative destination for mining investors despite concerns around the country’s empowerment policy, which compels foreign firms to cede 51 percent shareholding to locals.