Red Rock Resources, the UK exploration company, expects to start test production of lithium in Zimbabwe this year, after acquiring prospects in Bikita and Arcturus last year.
The company last year set up African Lithium Resources Pvt Limited, a 75% owned subsidiary in to lead its investment in Zimbabwe. Red Rock has 51 hectares of land at Tin Hill in Bikita, near where Bikita Minerals has already been mining petalite. It has applied for more licences in the Bikita areas as well as in Arcturus, where Prospect Resources has been developing Arcadia Mine.
“We also expect to bring into test production one or more of the lithium assets held by our Zimbabwe subsidiary,” says chairman and CEO Andrew Bell.
“A year ago, we would never have supposed that our first new production project of the 2020s might be in Zimbabwe, but we are delighted that it is so and that a country with a long and continuous mining history is coming back into favour, and we are helping that process.”
The company is seeking additional grants in Arcturus and Bikita, areas that have proven lithium potential.
“A new 125ha application near Arcturus, a mining site 32km East of Harare in Zimbabwe had also been approved for grant with a further application nearby in process. A 107ha application near Bikita had been made and another property with high grades from our sampling has been identified for purchase,” says Red Rock.
The company is listed on London’s Alternative Investments Market for small and mid-tier companies. In May last year, Red Rock announced that a group of investors had acquired a 10% early stage interest in African Lithium Resources for US$100,000.
Zimbabwean lithium has drawn interest from large miners such as Huayou Cobalt, Sinomine and Chengxin from China, and from UK explorers such as Premier African Minerals, Red Rock and Galileo, as well as Ireland’s Arkle Resources.