COMMENT: Let’s push harder for value addition and beneficiation of our lithium President Mnangagwa unveils a plaque to commission Yahua Group Kamativi Mining Company’s 2,3 MT Spodumene Mining and Processing Project Phase One Flotation Plant at Kamativi recently

ZIMBABWE continues to consolidate its position of being among the leading world producers of lithium which has the potential to leapfrog the country’s industrialisation and modernisation. 

The automotive industry is shifting towards electric cars that use lithium-ion batteries.  Kamativi Lithium Mine in Matabeleland North province is the latest to join the list of Zimbabwean lithium mines that have started producing the mineral of the moment. 

The mine which is owned by Kamativi Mining Company, (KMC) has since created more than 1 200 jobs and most of its employees are locals from Hwange District. 

Last Friday, President Mnangagwa commissioned the mine’s 2,3 million tonnes Spodumene Processing Plant. The mine which has completed its First Phase, has capacity to process 300 000 tonnes of spodumene ore annually producing 50 000 tonnes of lithium concentrate.

When the Second Phase is completed, it will have capacity to process two million tonnes of ore producing 300 000 tonnes of lithium concentrate a year. 

The other Zimbabwean lithium mines are Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe Plant (PLZ) in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East, Zulu Lithium Mine in Matabeleland South, Sabi Star Lithium Mine in Manicaland, Bikita Minerals and Arcadia Lithium Mine. Demand for lithium has risen sharply across the globe because of the growth of green energy industries that are involved in the manufacture of electric motor vehicles and energy storage devices among others. Zimbabwe is therefore set to witness a phenomenal growth of its mining sector which is key to its industrialisation and modernisation. 

The country has huge lithium deposits hence the many lithium mines that are at different stages of development across the country. Lithium is used to manufacture rechargeable batteries for electric motor vehicles, mobile phones, laptops and digital cameras. There is therefore a need to push harder for value addition and beneficiation so that the country derives maximum benefits from its lithium. 

The country cannot afford to continue exporting raw minerals to benefit Western countries. Mining companies have already been directed by Government to invest in the processing of minerals to enable the country to produce finished products from its minerals. This is the only way the country can enjoy maximum benefits from its mineral resources while at the same time creating employment for its citizens. 

The big mining companies should take the lead in investing in value addition and beneficiation in order to accelerate our industrialisation.



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