MULTI-COMMODITIES natural resource company Premier African Minerals has commissioned a follow-up study to review low-capital options and near-term production alternatives for its flagship Zimbabwe-based exploration project RHA tungsten.The commissioning was initiated this June after the company had announced a substantial increase in the indicated and inferred resource at the RHA tungsten project.
Premier holds a 49 percent interest in the Zimbabwean project. The RHA project is located in an area of historic production, about 270 kilometres northwest of Bulawayo.
Premier is targeting a compliant indicated resource of up to 10 million tonnes at a grade of 0,12 percent to 0,17 percent WO3 and 86 000 tonnes at 2,25 percent WO3.
In a statement on its website, Premier said the new mining study would reassess the project potential in light of additional information that will become available, under the different methodologies used.
“Initial mineralogical and metallurgical studies on which the RHA mining study update is being based have been completed.
The mineralogical study has indicated a high grade concentration and anticipated recoveries of the order of 88 percent.
“The metallurgical study sample grade was assessed using a composite of all boreholes, including those parts of the ore-body that will not be mined: While the recovery of approximately 60 percent is acceptable, it under-estimates the anticipated outcome and so additional metallurgical test work is now being undertaken, using new underground material samples, so as to enable optimisation of the tungsten crushing and milling processes,” said the company.
According to Premier, the adaption to the alternative mining approach could see production commencing in 2015 at a reduced mining rate, with expansion taking place progressively thereafter.
Premier chief executive officer Mr George Roach said the company now awaited outcome of the second study.
“Following completion of our two transactions, the Circum and AgriMinco transactions, Premier now has the funding to contemplate the low-capex, near-term production alternatives for RHA.
“While I am frustrated that the metallurgical studies need to be repeated, a satisfactory result will significantly strengthen our confidence in the project,” he said. — BH24