AFRICA-FOCUSED minerals and metals project developer, Premier African Minerals has gone to the market, seeking to raise £2,4 million (US$2,97 million) to fund pilot plant optimisation for its ongoing Zulu lithium and tantalum project in Zimbabwe.
The funds are being raised by way of placement.
The first placement to raise £1,8 million (US$2,22 million) before expenses at 0,925p per share was announced on Monday last week. On Friday last week, the lithium miner announced further placing of 65,9 million shares at 0,925 pence each to raise £610 000 US$753 679,40).
Premier chief executive officer George Roach has subscribed for 11,9 million shares at the placing price for £110 000 (US$135 909,40) in total.
Premier says proceeds will fund pilot plant optimisation for its ongoing Zulu lithium and tantalum project in Zimbabwe.
“Work on optimisation of the plant and process control procedures to achieve nameplate throughput will remain the sole focus of Zulu,” Roach said in a market update.
“Mining operations continue to be encouraged with both grade and ore body definition meeting our expectations. At the same time, exploration activities outside of the current mining operations have identified additional spodumene dominant pegmatites not included in the resource currently being mined.
“Similarly, our joint venture partner at our Mutare Project has indicated to us that early trenching has uncovered substantial pegmatites and we look forward to reporting on results from that activity in the near future."
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The company also reported that the plant is now producing concentrates from both the spodumene and mica floatation circuits.
Premier owns the RHA Tungsten, Zulu lithium and tantalite projects in Zimbabwe.
In April this year, Premier started commercial production at its Zulu Lithium Mine in the country after receiving required government approvals and one final reagent supply.
The lithium processing plant produces spodumene concentrate. Spodumene is a lithium ore withhigh concentration of lithium, a key component in the production of electric vehicle batteries.
Premier built the plant, which has capacity to produce nearly 50 000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate annually, as part of a US$35 million offtake deal signed last year with China's CanMax Technologies (formerly Suzhou TA&A).
Last year, Premier secured US$35 million pre-funding to enable the construction and commissioning of a large-scale pilot plant at the project.
Upon signing of the agreement, US$3,5 million has been availed to secure the pilot plant, according Premier.
Under the deal, the mining firm was required to supply the product by March 31, 2023.
CanMax Technologies began charging interest at 3,5% per annum on the prepayment amount of US$35 million from April 1, 2023.
Premier must start supplying CanMax Technologies with the product by May 30, 2023 in line with the agreement.
In the event that this is not done, CanMax Technologies will have the right to terminate the contract by giving written notification to Premier, and Premier will be required to pay the prepayment amount in full, plus interest, within 90 days of receiving such notice of termination.
The Zulu project is generally regarded as potentially the largest undeveloped lithium bearing pegmatite in Zimbabwe, covering a surface of about 3,5 square kilometres, which are prospectively for lithium and tantalum mineralisation.
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