12 December 2017
Premier African Minerals Limited
Premier African Minerals Limited, ("Premier" or the "Company") is pleased to provide an update on the operations at the RHA Tungsten Mine ("RHA") in Zimbabwe.
Open Pit Review
In order to confirm the in-situ resource grade, stripping ratio and concentrate recovery through the plant, RHA has completed the mining phase of a large bulk sample containing 8,272 tonnes of ore from the open pit of which 7,247 tonnes have been processed. The results will guide future open pit operations and cost effectiveness or otherwise, of blending ore from the open pit with underground ore. Processing of the remaining component of open pit ore through the plant will take place when the mining contractor has completed fragmentation of large boulders.
Underground mining and on strike development are progressing well. The monthly target tonnage required to achieve profitable operations at RHA at projected resource grade, remains less than the projected 6,000 tonnes per month mining target. 3,700 tonnes of ore from on strike development is available on the ROM and this tonnage is expected to reach 6,000 tonnes during December 2017 and to continue at this rate or greater for the foreseeable future. Processing of this ore through the plant commenced on the 6th December 2017. The RNS dated 29 September 2017 sets out the parameters required to achieve breakeven throughput at RHA.
Plant performance is encouraging, and the extensive maintenance and optimisation work completed over the past few months has seen improved plant recoveries, when plant availability maintains satisfactory levels of performance. Plant throughput is 700 tonnes per day and plant performance is primarily constrained because of a high fine particle percentage in the open pit ore. Processing of underground ore only and/or mixing of open pit with underground ore is likely to improve plant performance as well as overall recoveries of concentrate even further.
Capital budgets for the underground operations at RHA are fully funded and no portion of the recent financing announced on 20 November 2017 has been used for this purpose. Premier does not expect to provide any significant financing for future RHA operations after the 31 December 2017. And, any further working capital provided to RHA from the end of this year will only be provided to bridge time between availability of concentrate to ship and the date of payment.
To date, RHA has been sole funded by Premier and has received no contribution from the National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Board ("NIEEB"), which holds a 51% interest in RHA. Premier is owed in excess of US$20 million before any adjustment for the true cost of that debt. Premier continues to accrue lease payments for the plant and equipment at RHA, which are solely owned by Premier on a fully secured basis.
The Company also issued today 59,756,000 new Ordinary Shares at an issue price of 0.5 pence per new Ordinary Share to African Mining and Exploration ("Afmine"), the principal mining contractor at RHA as payment for services rendered by Afmine in relation to ongoing mining operations as detailed in the announcement dated 23 November 2016 (the "Afmine Shares").
The Afmine Shares will rank pari passu in all respects with the existing Ordinary Shares. Application will be made for the Afmine Shares to be admitted to trading on AIM and admission is expected to take place on or around 18 December 2017.
Following the issue of the Ordinary Shares, the Company's issued share capital consists of 6,557,972,350 ordinary shares, with voting rights. This figure may be used by shareholders in the Company as the denominator for the calculation by which they will determine if they are required to notify their interest in, or a change to their interest in, the share capital of the Company under the Financial Conduct Authority's Disclosure and Transparency Rules.
George Roach, Premier's CEO, commented: "With ongoing negotiations with potential partners in regard to Zulu Lithium, and some additional stellar drilling results imminent, RHA is progressing as planned, and with Premier having secured further funding, I sincerely believe that the value of Zulu and Circum holdings should be reflective in our market capitalisation. Regardless of the performance at RHA during December 2017, Premier does not intend to provide any further finance to RHA for normal operations or capital unless RHA is trading profitably and then only for bridging finance."
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
Premier African Minerals Limited
Tel: +44 (0)7734 922074
Michael Cornish / Roland Cornish
Beaumont Cornish Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 207 628 3396
Jerry Keen/Edward Mansfield
Shore Capital Stockbrokers Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 207 408 4090
Beaufort Securities Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7382 8300
Charles Goodwin/ Harriet Jackson
Yellow Jersey PR Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 7747 788221
Notes to Editors:
Premier African Minerals Limited (AIM: PREM) is a multi-commodity mining and natural resource development company focused in Southern and Western Africa with production started at its flagship RHA project in Zimbabwe.
The Company has a diverse portfolio of projects, which include tungsten, rare earth elements, gold, lithium and tantalum in Zimbabwe and Benin, encompassing brownfield projects with near-term production potential to grass-roots exploration. In addition, the Company holds 5,010,333 shares in Circum Minerals Limited ("Circum"), the owners of the Danakil Potash Project in Ethiopia, which has the potential to be a world class asset. At present those shares are valued at US$10.2 million based on the latest price at which Circum has accepted subscriptions. Premier also has an interest in Casa Mining Limited, a privately-owned exploration company that has a 71.25% interest in the 1.5 million ounce inferred resource Akyanga gold deposit in the DRC.
Forward Looking Statements:
Certain statements in this announcement are, or may be deemed to be forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are identiﬁed by their use of terms and phrases such as ''believe'', ''could'', "should", ''envisage'', ''estimate'', ''intend'', ''may'', ''plan'', ''will'' or the negative of those variations or comparable expressions including references to assumptions. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but rather on the Directors' current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company's future growth results of operations performance future capital and other expenditures (including the amount. nature and sources of funding thereof) competitive advantages business prospects and opportunities. Such forward looking statements reﬂect the Directors' current beliefs and assumptions and are based on information currently available to the Directors. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements including risks associated with vulnerability to general economic and business conditions competition environmental and other regulatory changes actions by governmental authorities the availability of capital markets reliance on key personnel uninsured and underinsured losses and other factors many of which are beyond the control of the Company. Although any forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are based upon what the Directors believe to be reasonable assumptions. The Company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with such forward looking statements.
This information is provided by RNS