Premier African Minerals, UK-listed small-cap miner has expressed frustration over the way Zimbabwe is handling its application for an exclusive prospecting order (EPO) to start production in the Southern African country.
Premier is invested in the Zulu Lithium and RHA Tungsten projects in Fort Rixon and to bring the projects to production, it needs EPO, a permit to explore and develop the assets.
Speaking to Zim Live, Premier’s CEO George Roach, an industry veteran, suggested that the company was now looking somewhere else. Roach said:
Dependency of exploration activities based exclusively in Zimbabwe where country risk and delay deny the opportunity to add value is clearly flawed yet exploration remains the best opportunity for substantial value generation and recovery in our Company.
During 2019, Premier met frequently with the Mining Affairs board, the Permanent Secretary and the Hon. Minister of Mines; Premier attended to all questions, explanations, objections and has been assured repeatedly that the process to grant the EPO is at finality and requires only signature. To date, the EPO still requires only signature.
This experience in Zimbabwe only underlines my comments above and the need to acquire and be in control of a cash generative asset/s and country risk-mitigating exploration properties.
Premier recently bought into MN Holdings Otjozondu, a mine in Namibia, and Roach sees that asset as “a significant first step in the midst of the ongoing and very disappointing delays in Zimbabwe”.
A number of potential investors are said to have ditched Zimbabwe for other countries due to red tape and corruption.
More: Zim Live