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Prospect plans to sell Step Aside lithium asset

“Step Aside may offer a near term sale opportunity to a number of strategic investors to help fund Mumbezhi and we are testing the market now at levels that would make a sale an attractive option. “We would also have no hesitation to consider further development or a sale of this attractive asset later on when lithium markets have improved.”

PROSPECT Resources Limited says its Step Aside lithium project in Zimbabwe has reached a critical milestone, positioning it for monetisation.

The potential revenue from this project, according to Prospect Resources chief executive officer Sam Hosack, is expected to support the exploration and development of the priority Mumbezhi Copper project in Zambia.

In 2021, Prospect sold the Arcadia lithium fields to Chinese giant Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt for US$378 million, after which it pounced on Step Aside.

Situated eight kilometres from the Arcadia lithium mine, Step Aside had been significantly derisked, representing an advanced exploration play with regional scale potential, Prospect said.

“We are pleased with the progress made at Step Aside and Omaruru via our exploration activities to date,” Hosack said in a market update yesterday.

“Our teams have worked diligently to produce these results over four phases of drilling at Step Aside and two phases at Omaruru, conducted progressively over the past two years. At every stage, these assets have indicated substantial additional mineralisation growth potential ready to be further uncovered.

“The WinBin mineralised zone at Step Aside was an excellent discovery last year and enabled us to swiftly identify what we now know to be a significant co-joined mineralised pegmatite system that remains open in multiple directions and at depth.

“With similar geographical characteristics to the Arcadia deposit, located just 8km to the south, this system offers strong potential for amenability to processing via a conventional lithium flowsheet such as the Arcadia plant.”

Hosack noted that Phase 2 drilling at Omaruru had also concluded with results indicating further extensions to the Karlsbrunn Main deposit root feeder system from surface and further anomalous mineralisation along strike to the north of Brockmans.

“With our key focus now directed towards the rapid advancement of the recently acquired Mumbezhi Copper Project in Zambia, we plan to reduce our exploration activities at Step Aside and Omaruru from the levels completed over the past 12 months,” he said.

“Alongside this, we will be undertaking a comprehensive review focussed on the range of potential commercialisation routes for these two attractive lithium assets.

“Step Aside may offer a near term sale opportunity to a number of strategic investors to help fund Mumbezhi and we are testing the market now at levels that would make a sale an attractive option.

“We would also have no hesitation to consider further development or a sale of this attractive asset later on when lithium markets have improved.”

The company said final results from the Phase 4 diamond drilling programme at Step Aside have been received, with encouraging drilling intersections noted for WinBin and depth extensions to pegmatites E and C, which were specifically targeted during the campaign.

A total of 2 198 metres in 20 holes, including four re-entries of older holes, were completed during Phase 4.

Prospect is focused on the exploration and development of mining projects, specifically battery and electrification metals in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia and the broader sub-Saharan African region. – (Newsday)

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