Arcadia mine laboratory now in full swing

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HARARE – Australia-listed lithium company,  Prospect Resources says the laboratory at its Arcadia project is now  fully operational and achieving consistent high  Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) in all assays including  trace analysis in lithium carbonate being produced from the pilot plant.

The Arcadia project is located approximately 38 km east of Harare in  the high veld close to the long established Arcturus gold mine.

It project is the largest lithium deposit in Africa comprising 808 000  tons of lithium oxide.

The Zimbabwe government in 2017 granted the company National Project  Status to develop Arcadia. President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to officiate at the  ground-breaking ceremony of the Arcadia Mine later this year.

Through the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) the country  this year also sealed a deal with a foreign investor to exploit lithium  deposits worth $1,4 billion in  Matabeleland North.

“The laboratory is also fully functional in the metallurgical test work  that will be instrumental in the beneficiation plant commissioning and  ongoing optimization,” Prospect Resources said on Wednesday in a market  update.

The laboratory is fully equipped with an XRD mineral analyser, AAS  elemental analyser as well as a range of other equipment.

“The aim of the laboratory has been to train and maintain a full  complement of chemists, assayers, flotation recovery technicians and  grade control technicians.”

The Arcadia lithium carbonate pilot plant has milled over 2 tons of ore  at an average grade, over the past week.

Prospect Resources said lithium carbonate (LC) inventory were at 100  kilograms, all of which awaits final purification to battery grade  levels.

“More than 13 kg of pure lithium carbonate (PLC) has been produced in  the past week at an average purity of 99.6 percent LC and is meeting or  exceeding battery grade specifications,” it said.

“This product is expected to be made available for sale and due  diligence purposes by prospective customers,” it said.

It added that the the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development  inspector of mines and explosives had formally accepted Nixon Mugwadhi  as the legally appointed mine manager of the Arcadia Mine.

Previously Mugwadhi was Hwange Colliery Mine planning manager.

In April 2017, Prospect raised $25 million to fund construction of its  mine and plant at the Arcadia lithium project. The entire project is  expected to be completed and in production by the second quarter of next  year.

The company also operates Sally and Prestwood Gold Mines, located in  Gwanda. – New Ziana

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