PAM works on tungsten mine reopening

AIM-listed Premier African Minerals is fast progressing towards bringing its RHA tungsten mine, in Zimbabwe back into production in the next few weeks.

Operations at the Matabeleland North-based mine ceased towards the end of last year amid cash flow constraints.

According to an online publication, miningweekly.com, Premier has received written confirmation from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development that under the amended Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Act, RHA was no longer required to comply with indigenisation policies and the proposed restructuring of RHA can proceed without approval from the Government.

At present, Premier has 49 percent shares in the mine while the remaining 51 percent was held by the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board.

It is envisaged that following the proposed restructuring exercise, Premier’s shareholding in the tungsten project will increase to 90 percent.

As the RHA shares in question are part-owned by Government, any disposal of the shares in relation to the restructuring and recapitalisation of RHA will be guided by relevant legislation, regulation and directives.

Premier will continue to work with the ministries while the procedural government approvals are dealt with.

In a statement yesterday Premier said that its technical consultants were finalising an assessment of the wolframite resources contained in the tailings facility of RHA.

Premier expects to publish an updated technical report shortly.

The placement will see the Aim-listed mining concern fully funded in regard to working capital until December 2018, without any dependency on revenue generated from a possible early return to production, targeted at 6 000 tonnes per month at RHA.

The mining group’s chief executive officer Mr George Roach said, “This placement gives Premier a head start at RHA and provides the working capital necessary for the group as a whole.

“Being able to get the additional drilling started immediately at RHA is likely to add further value to the mine and will guide efficient and effective back-to-production strategies.

“With the Zulu Lithium and Tantalum project nearing the completion of the due diligence period, I look forward to updating the market on the proposed investment by Cadence.

At the same time, we have re-examined our bulk test on historic tailings at RHA and are confident that with improved tungsten prices at present, we are able to expedite reopening of operations using tailings as a supplemental ore feed.”

In June, Premier announced that it had secured $300 000 loan expected to provide additional general working capital as the company anticipates concluding negotiations on Zulu Lithium and RHA tungsten projects in Zimbabwe.

– miningweekly.com/Business Chronicle

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