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RHA Tungsten project hangs in balance

“The RHA assets remain fully impaired at this time and are likely to so remain until we are able to conclude the discussions underway at present. The company has not funded any of the activities at RHA since July 1, 2019, apart from essential care and maintenance costs.”

LONDON-LISTED resources outfit Premier African Minerals will relocate part of its RHA Tungsten plant in 2024 due to an ownership dispute, which has hampered operations.

Premier holds 49% interest in the Zimbabwe-based RHA Tungsten Mine, while the government of Zimbabwe, through the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund (NIEEF), controls the remaining 51%.

In May 2019, Premier announced that it had signed a new agreement with NIEEF that includes a funding undertaking of US$6 million for RHA.

The use and application of these funds was expected to see RHA back into production later that year.

However, in a strategic report for 2023, Premier chief executive George Roach said the government had not honoured its obligation.

“Despite indications to the contrary, nothing has changed. The price of wolframite continues to suggest that RHA should be back into production but with our reticence to commit more funds into RHA under the present share ownership structure, we are unable to predict when and if there will be a return to production, notwithstanding that recent discussions with the Mines and Mining Development ministry have been positive,” Roach said.

“What is certain is that with advances in other exploration in Zimbabwe and with a need for additional comminution capacity at Zulu, most of the plant at RHA will be relocated during the latter part of 2024 if we are unable to resolve the present ownership status.

“The RHA assets remain fully impaired at this time and are likely to so remain until we are able to conclude the discussions underway at present. The company has not funded any of the activities at RHA since July 1, 2019, apart from essential care and maintenance costs.”

During 2023, the group issued 4 216 446 124 shares at an average price of 0,4455p per share raising a total of US$18,786 million.

This cash, according to Roach, was used to continue with the commission and development work at Zulu lithium mine.

Premier also acquired operational control and 50% of Turwi Gold Project exploration project in southeast Zimbabwe.

Premier is focusing on Zulu, Roach said. The company said it will explore other alternative opportunities to release the potential value and opportunity of the Turwi Gold Project. – (Newsday)

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