Govt secures $6m for RHA Tungsten project


GOVERNMENT has proposed an investment of US$6 million in support of the RHA Tungsten project in Matabeleland North.

Zimbabwe-focused and diversified mining group, Premier African Minerals, confirmed the development in a statement.

“Premier African Minerals Limited is pleased to report that the company received a letter on the afternoon of 12 March from the Zimbabwe Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Enterprise Development, which states that the ministry has secured a proposed investment of US$6 million investment into RHA Tungsten (Private) Limited for the immediate re-commissioning of mining operations, subject to completion of the appropriate agreements,” reads the statement.

“The letter also states that Zimdiv Holdings Limited, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Premier and which manages the RHA Mine, will be awarded another management agreement on similar terms to the current management agreement, which was entered into on 23 September 2013. The Company will provide further updates once the agreements have been signed.”

The multi-commodity resource group said it will provide further updates once the agreements have been signed. Industry and Commerce Minister Nqobizitha Ndlovu is on record as saying the Government was willing to inject the funds required to resuscitate the RHA Tungsten Mine.

Last year project management announced that it was carrying out an in – depth assessment of alternatives to re-open the mine. Premier is developing a number of projects in Zimbabwe, namely the RHA Tungsten project and the sizeable Zulu Lithium and Tantalum Project.

The mining group has also said it was considering a few proposals, including re-starting existing underground operations at 6 000 tonnes per month and maintaining the same mining rate for life of mine.

Another option was to re-start operations at the same rate of production, but with the construction of a new decline shaft to allow vehicle access direct to the underlying operations.

The mining group hopes this could lead to a significant improvement in ore delivery to the plant at significantly reduced mining cost.

The RHA Tungsten project is located in an area of historic production – approximately 270km northwest of Bulawayo — that comprises 50 mineral claim blocks, covering 1 800 hectares, consisting of 10 owned by Premier and 40, which are under option.

Small-scale surface and underground mining was conducted at the site between 1931 and 1979.

Total production from the RHA and Tung Mines was 1 247,65 tonnes of wolframite concentrate, containing 65 percent WO3.

Premier recently announced a resource of 22,14 million tonnes at 2,45 kilogramme per tonne in both the underground and open pit operations. It has invested around $18 million in the acquisition and development of the mine as well as the plant and necessary infrastructure. — –

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