Premier African Minerals Limited (LON:PREM) shares rose 5% in early deals on the back of highly encouraging initial testing on material from the group's Zulu Lithium and Tantalum project in Zimbabwe, which underscored the property's big potential.
The findings from German based Dorfner Anzaplan showed that a commercial grade, high quality lithium mineral concentrate could be produced.
The focus now will be on further testing to improve recoveries as well as improve the flowsheet design and establish capital and operating costs.
Highlights included a test on the spodumene pegmatite (one type of the mineralisation found at Zulu), which achieved an overall lithium recovery of 81.8% and a concentrate containing 6.5% lithium oxide (Li₂O) and 0.09% iron oxide (Fe2O3).
This is well within the typical range of concentrates needed for glass and ceramics manufacture as well as for conversion to lithium carbonate.
The tailings (waste) of the spodumene and petalite (another form of the mineralisation) flotation test process contained very low iron oxide concentrations in the range of 0.01%, Premier also said.
This means there is the potential for producing a high quality, low iron feldspar and quartz as by-products for glass and ceramics applications.
Dorfner also recommend a further test programme for lithium extraction to produce lithium carbonate and hydroxide to prove that marketable lithium carbonate and hydroxide can be produced.
Premier's chairman and chief executive George Roach told investors: "We are very excited with these excellent initial metallurgical test work results.
"These results demonstrate that we can produce a commercial grade, high quality lithium mineral concentrates from both the spodumene and petalite mineralisation at Zulu project.
"We will continue to conduct further testing to optimise the recoveries and grades, as well as improving the flowsheet design for the Zulu project."
Premier shares added 5% in London to stand at 0.525p.