UK resources investor Galileo Resources is to start exploring for lithium and gold in Zimbabwe after being granted the option to acquire 51% of a local prospecting firm.
Galileo, listed in London, will spend US$1.5 million to explore for lithium and gold at claims held by BC Ventures over the next two years.
BC Ventures’ unit Sinamatella Holdings was one of the companies granted Exclusive Prospecting Orders in March last year. Sinamatella holds an EPO for a potentially lithium-rich area in Kamativi, as well as another two EPOs for two gold areas near Bulawayo.
Colin Bird, an industry veteran, owns Galileo, which is also prospecting for various mineral assets across the region, including copper and zinc in Zambia and Botswana as well as rare earth minerals in South Africa.
This will be the company’s first time in Zimbabwe.
“This is a significant investment for Galileo, in that we have an option to acquire a controlling interest in what we consider a highly prospective lithium project in Southwest Zimbabwe,” Bird said in a statement on Monday.
The lithium prospect is near the Kamativi tin mine, where a joint venture of the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation and Canada’s Jimbata is working to treat old tailings dumps to seek out lithium-bearing minerals.
Bird believes the data available from that project gives his company a good chance to strike lithium.
He said: “The project is adjacent to the Kamativi mine, which produced tin for many years, closing in 1994. The pegmatites in the area are known to contain lithium-bearing minerals, as well as tantalum and tin and the pegmatites will be the focus of our exploration programme.”
Galileo will be hoping to have as much good fortune as other lithium prospectors have had in Zimbabwe recently. In December, China’s Huayou announced a deal to buy the Arcadia lithium project from Prospect Resources for US$422 million.
In February, Sinomine Resource said it was spending US$180 million to buy a controlling stake in Bikita Minerals, Zimbabwe’s oldest lithium producer.