UK firm starts lithium exploration in Zim
Oliver Kazunga Senior Business Reporter
UNITED Kingdom-based Galileo Resources says it has started exploration works at the Kamativi lithium project and its gold asset in Bulawayo.
This comes as Zimbabwe continues to receive growing attention from global investors keen to take positions as lithium grows in popularity due to its use in the manufacture of electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries.
Galileo Resources is engaged in the exploration and development of gold, copper, rare-earth aggregates, and iron ore and manganese.
Outside Zimbabwe, the UK Alternative Investment Market (AIM) listed firm’s projects include Kalahari copper belt project, Kashitu Project, Ferber project, Star Zinc Project, Glenover rare earth project and Concordia Copper Project.
Following an assignment agreement (Deed of Assignment) Galileo entered with BC Ventures and Cordoba Investments Limited in January this year, the resources firm has an option to acquire a 51 percent interest in BC Ventures by spending US$1,5 million on exploration.
BC Ventures own the lithium project and two gold licences near Bulawayo through its wholly-owned Zimbabwe subsidiary, SinamateIa Investments (Private) Limited.
“The company is pleased to provide an update on the commencement of exploration at the lithium and gold projects in Southwest Zimbabwe, which are the subject of a US$1,5million earn-in agreement as announced in March 2022,” said Galileo in a statement this week.
At the Kamativi lithium project, covered by Exclusive Prospecting Order 1782, a reconnaissance mapping/sampling site visit is planned to commence soon.
Permitting work has been initiated to prepare for more advanced exploration in the coming weeks and months, which is aimed at facilitating early drill testing.
“At the Bulawayo gold project, the company has signed a contract with Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics (Pty) Ltd to carry out a fixed-wing airborne magnetic and radiometric survey over the most prospective parts of EPO 1783 and EPO 1784.
“The survey will comprise 12 184 line kilometres of flying at 100 metres line spacing covering extensive greenstone belt rock formations that are host to many small to mid-size quartz reef gold mines and deposits in Zimbabwe,” said Galileo Resources.
It said flying had already commenced and was expected to take about four to five weeks to complete, including delivery of processed data.
The aim is mapping critical structures and belts linking the many known small-scale gold mines and deposits to help identify targets for the potential development of a medium to large scale mine.
Galileo Resources chairman and chief executive officer Colin Bird said; “We are very pleased to have already commenced work over the lithium and gold projects in Zimbabwe.
The Kamativi lithium project is adjacent to the Kamativi tin mine, which hosts a substantial lithium tailings resource, mainly in the form of spodumene, which is the most sought-after lithium mineral globally.
“Primary lithium grades at the Kamativi mine could well be higher than reported in tailings.”
Lithium is one of the minerals expected to contribute to the achievement of the US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.
It is anticipated that under the US$12 billion mining industry, lithium will contribute US$500 million and the figure will rapidly increase beyond 2023 as more lithium mines come on board and existing mines increase production.
Zimbabwe is among major lithium producers that may draw significant benefits from firm global prices. The country is already world’s fifth largest producer of lithium with only a single active mine, Bikita Minerals
Bird said at their Bulawayo gold project airborne geophysical surveying is already well under way over a region with many small to medium-sized historic high grade gold mines.
“Our work will aim to fingerprint the structural settings of the known deposits and to identify potential extensions of these zones through our property, as well as locating new targets underneath thin cover hidden from the old prospectors,” he said.