HomeLocal NewsRare earth minerals find ‘encouraging’

Rare earth minerals find ‘encouraging’

MTHANDAZO NYONI

LITHIUM miner Prospect Resources says preliminary results undertaken from a soil sampling process focusing on rare earth elements (REEs) recently at Chishanya in the southeast of Zimbabwe, are encouraging.

Zimbabwe is reportedly sitting on 17 REEs, namely cerium, dysprosium, erbium, europium, gadolinium, holmium, lanthanum, lutetium, neodymium, praseodymium, promethium, samarium, scandium, terbium, thulium, ytterbium, and yttrium.

REEs are now widely used in automobiles, electronic equipment, military technology and other fields.

Although Zimbabwe has not carried out a comprehensive mineral survey, President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2019 revealed that the country’s REEs are the second largest in the world after China’s.

In its report on activities undertaken in the March 2021 quarter and its financial position at the end of the period, the Australian Stock Exchange-listed miner said in line with its strategy, it continues to seek opportunities to generate value out of its non-core assets.

“During the quarter, the company undertook soil sampling at the Chishanya Rare Earth Project to provide an initial assessment of this project prospectively. Approximately 2 400 samples were collected and sieved, prior to being dispatched for REE analysis by SGS. Preliminary results are encouraging, and the company will provide an update in due course,” the report reads.

Prospect said the Chishanya phosphate project is one of five known phosphate-bearing carbonatites in Zimbabwe.

The deposit has been explored by a number of companies since the 1950s including Anglo American and Rhodesia Chrome Mines Ltd.

The deposit is a series of un-exploited phosphate-bearing, apatite-magnetite lenses in carbonatite located near Birchenough Bridge, Manicaland. The project will be located at Dorowa near Buhera.

Prospect finished the quarter with a cash balance as at March 31, 2021 of A$4,2 million (approx.US$3,2m).

Subsequent to quarter end, the company completed a successful capital raise of A$6,5 million (US$5 million).

In addition, Prospect has a US$10 million funding commitment from offtake partner Sinomine, which is triggered when the ball mill has been delivered and bolt installed.

Prospect managing director Sam Hosack, commented: “We are pleased to say that the March 2021 quarter, along with the beginning of the current quarter, has been a period of substantial progress for Prospect.”

“We now have a clear, staged and lower risk pathway to progress the Arcadia Lithium Project towards development, construction and targeted high margin lithium production. We have also strengthened our board and executive ranks with individuals of the calibre and experience to assist Prospect in successfully making this transition,” he said.

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