Premier African's tungsten project on course

HARARE - Premier African Minerals (Premier) says it remains on course to start its first tungsten production in Zimbabwe by June this year.

George Roach, Premier chief executive, said the mining firm has started to strip the waste at its RHA tungsten project, while plant fabrication is on schedule to start in two months.

“Construction remains on time and on budget. It is most pleasing being able to report that the first bench of the open pit is being cut and stripping has commenced. We look forward to updating shareholders in due course,” he said.

Based in Zimbabwe, the RHA Mine is forecast to generate net revenue of $26 million over a 22-month life of the mine with pre-tax cash flow of $8,9 million.

The London-listed company is currently in discussions with investors over the final tranche of finance required to complete building of the project, but even so earthworks are ahead of schedule while the components for the plant are being readied for assembly in Johannesburg.

Roach said it was a credit to the Premier team that the project remains on track for an on-time and on-budget completion and first production in early June 2015.

“What’s critical is finalisation of the final tranche of finance and I am hopeful that we will be able to update our shareholders on progress shortly,” he said adding that mine construction was being carried out by subsidiary RHA Tungsten Private Limited and that funds provided by Premier at this point in time are on loan.

“Repayment of loan debt includes the full cost of the finance in whatever form that cost may be,” Roach added.

To date, Premier has paid $1,46 million as a deposit towards the process plant, which represents 70 percent of the total cost of the plant

A final payment of $664 000 is due once fabrication of the plant is completed.

Premier was established to acquire and develop mineral properties across Africa, especially in West and Southern Africa and to deliver regional economic development through its investments.

The company — with offices in Lomé, Bamako, Bulawayo and support services in Johannesburg — works across a wide range of commodities, including tungsten, lithium and tantalum, and rare earth elements.


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