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Harare: Africa Minerals Premier wants to settle its lithium supply dispute with China’s Canmax Technologies to avoid a lengthy legal battle that could disrupt operations, the mining company said Friday.

On Wednesday, the Chinese company Premier missed a May 2023 deadline to start delivering spodumene concentrate, the raw material for lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, citing defects at a Zulu processing plant in Zimbabwe. Therefore, he announced that he would terminate the contract.

London-listed Premier was due to deliver 48,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per year under an offtake agreement, but issued a force majeure notice to Canmax on June 25, citing delays at its recently assembled plant. claimed to be to blame.

“The Group will make reasonable efforts to work with Canmax to seek redress during the period of force majeure. Premier remains committed to an equitable resolution,” Premier said.

The prime minister said disputes related to the offtake agreement would need to be resolved through arbitration in Singapore and could take more than 12 months to resolve. He added that the future of the business would be threatened if the dispute could not be resolved.

Aside from the offtake deal, CanMax purchased a 13.14% stake in Premier last year, making it the largest single shareholder.

Premier is one of several Zimbabwe-focused mining companies that have recently attracted investment from Chinese battery materials companies seeking lithium assets.

Chinese companies such as Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, Sinomine Resource Group, Chengxin Lithium Group, Yahua Group and Canmax have spent more than $1 billion over the past two years on acquiring and developing lithium projects in Zimbabwe. Prime Minister Aims to Solve Lithium Supply Issues with China’s Canmax

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