From Tin to Tech…Kamativi becomes lithium powerhouse 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

Mashudu Netsianda in Kamativi

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday said Zimbabwe is progressing forward undeterred by the unlawful sanctions imposed by Western nations and the challenges posed by the El Niño-induced drought. He commended the Kamativi Mining Company (KMC) for creating over 1 200 jobs through its extensive lithium mining initiative in the Hwange district.

The KMC which started operations in 2019, is mining lithium at Kamativi, a site previously known for tin mining that ceased operations in 1994 due to a steep decline in global tin prices.

The company which intends to invest US$249 million, has so far spent about US$100 million on the project.

The company’s lithium concentration facility has the capacity to process 300 000 tonnes of raw spodumene ore annually producing 50 000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate. This operation is projected to generate an estimated US$50 million in revenue each year.

Commissioning the Yahua Group Kamativi Mining Company’s 2,3 MT Spodumene Mining and Processing Project Phase One flotation plant at Kamativi yesterday, President Mnangagwa said the methodical expansion into Phase Two is expected to earn the company more than US$300 million annually.

A section of the plant at Kamativi Mine

“Zimbabwe is marching forward, even in the midst of the illegal sanctions and the climate change-induced drought. Two days ago, I was in Chegutu, Mashonaland West Province, to commission the Pickstone Peerless Underground Mine. Today it is indeed my distinct privilege to be commissioning this Kamativi Mining Company’s Spodumene Mine and Phase One Flotation Plant,” he said. 

“I applaud Kamativi Mining Company for employing more than 1 200 workers, both directly and indirectly. Knowledge transfer from foreign investors and experts to our local workforce will have spill over benefits to the mining sector as a whole.” 

President Mnangagwa said that the Kamativi initiative is poised to catalyse significant economic advantages, including the substantial enhancement of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Matabeleland North province.

“The scaling up of the socio-economic development of the already promising Hwange District will also be enhanced,” he said.

At the national level, President Mnangagwa stated that the commissioning of the KMC facility represents a significant addition to the nation’s burgeoning portfolio in lithium mining and processing. Zimbabwe is acknowledged as one of the nations with substantial lithium reserves and mining operations within Africa. On a global scale, it stands in the league of big lithium-producing nations, including Chile, Australia, China, Argentina and Brazil.

“Presently, we host more than seven lithium exploration and mining projects at different stages of development. While this is a relatively new sub-sector of our mining industry, my Government stands ready to continuously improve efficiencies in this sub-sector and welcome more investments, skills and expertise,” said President Mnangagwa.

“Further, our country is determined to sustainably exploit this strategic resource, to realise socio-economic development for our people as well as enhance value for investors and indeed impact the world, towards addressing the climate change crisis.” 

President Mnangagwa highlighted the significance of the US$100 million investment in the first phase of the project. The investment is a direct result of the engagement and re-engagement policy implemented by the Second Republic. Under this policy, Zimbabwe has experienced remarkable growth of both local and foreign investments.

The President underlined the importance of value addition and beneficiation of the country’s natural resources. By maximising the benefits from the country’s abundant mineral resources, Zimbabwe can achieve sustainable development. The Government therefore, remains committed to supporting companies such as KMC in their efforts to process lithium ores into concentrates.

“The commissioning of this flotation plant is a step in the right direction as it moves this mine from being a mere resource extraction site thereby laying the foundation for a sustainable future. Well done,” he said. “This development we are witnessing today is in keeping with our policy thrust to nurture and grow an industrial base related to manufacturing and production of electrical vehicle batteries and other storage media.”

“I gather that the company has almost completed the US$l49 million Phase Two flotation plant, with a capacity to process 2 million tonnes of raw ore to yield 300 000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum.”

President Mnangagwa noted that both the projected production levels and revenue outlay were impressive and set to have a positive impact on the mining industry and economy as a whole. 

“You must work hard to make these permutations a reality. So far, the successes you have realised in re-purposing this mine, and the development and construction of the flotation plant is evidence of the power of teamwork,” he said.

“It is my expectation that the extraction of our mineral resources will lead to a better future for local communities and the environment.”

The President also commended KMC for constructing a 70 km long 88 kV powerline from Hwange to Kamativi and a dam with a holding capacity of 1, 5 million cubic metres.

“This infrastructure will not only meet the respective needs of the company but those of the surrounding communities. I call upon the mining company and stakeholders to nurture harmony and peace characterised by strong collaboration and communication,” he said.

“The importance of responsive and relevant environment, social and governance investment programmes cannot be overemphasised. These must be guided by the broader ongoing national development policies priority areas.”

President Mnangagwa stressed the Government’s commitment to collaborate with KMC, aiming for shared prosperity. He said the financial gains from the mining initiative should be distributed equitably and as such should not only enrich shareholders, investors, management and staff but should also improve the welfare of local communities.

“Let us, therefore, keep in mind the broader perspective. This investment must help to build a bright future for our people, and indeed impact the world through green technologies,” said President Mnangagwa.

He urged the company to conduct its business with the utmost integrity, responsibility and social duty. 

“Always strive to maintain and respect the values, norms as well as cultural heritage of the local communities, and prioritise their well-being. On its part, the Second Republic will continue to foster a conducive business operating environment and implement policies for win-win outcomes,” said President Mnangagwa.

“The doors of Government, through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, are always open to you.”

President Mnangagwa called on KMC investors to broaden their scope beyond lithium and consider the potential of mining other valuable minerals present in the region, including tantalite, beryl, copper, beryllium, spodumene, petalite and limestone.




You Might Also Like