Togo-headquartered mining company Premier African Minerals has agreed to amend an offtake agreement, entered into with China-based Canmax Technologies in August 2022, for the Zulu lithium and tantalum project near Bulawayo in Zimbabwe.

The deal pertains to the delivery of 48,000 tonnes (t) of spodumene concentrate to Canmax from the Zulu mine.

Canmax made a prepayment of $34.6m (251.91m yuan) in this regard to be used to build and commission the plant at Zulu.

In June, the Chinese company said it would scrap the agreement reached after Premier missed the May 2023 timeline to supply spodumene concentrate and issued it a force majeure notice, citing milling problems at the plant. 

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By GlobalData

The amended agreement restores the arrangements between the two companies, withdrawing force majeure and default notices.

Essential components of the amended deal are said to be the same as the original, with the companies agreeing on a new schedule for product delivery tied to the advance purchase amount and accrued interest.

The two parties also agreed on a hybrid pricing agreement with price of the Spodumene (SC6) to be supplied to be based equally on both the SC6 price and profit share under which they will equally share the profit.

Besides, the amended agreement is said to provide a timetable and process for the supply of pre-purchased product along with alternative agreements in place if a delay in delivery takes place.

It helps resolve the spat between Premier and Canmax and offers a basis for them to work together on plant issues at the mine.

Operations at the Zulu mine were temporarily paused for installation and commissioning of the mill by RHA Tungsten, which is located about 270km from Bulawayo.

The work is slated for completion in early autumn, with time to adhere to the amended product delivery schedule.

Initially, 1,000t of product is planned to be shipped to Canmax by the end of this November. 

Considered to potentially be the largest undeveloped lithium-bearing pegmatite in the country, the Zulu project includes 14 mineral claims, spread out across 3.5km² of area prospective for lithium and tantalum mineralisation.