US$2 million boost for Kamativi Construction workers at the site of the water reservoir in Kamativi

Leonard Ncube recently in Kamativi

CHINESE investor, Yahua Group, which is mining lithium in the Kamativi area of Hwange District in Matabeleland North province, has channelled more than US$2 million towards various community development projects with positive impact on ordinary people’s lives. 

President Mnangagwa officially commissioned the repurposed Kamativi Mining Company (KMC)’s Phase One Lithium Processing Plant on Friday while construction of the second plant is underway and is expected to be completed in July.

This will see production at the company rising to 2,3 million tonnes of raw ore and 300 000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum. 

The investment has excited traditional leaders in the district and the local community who are already feeling its impact and have commended Government facilitation. 

KMC started operations in 2019 with construction for Phase One of the project commencing in March 2023 focused on lithium exploration, mining and processing within Kamativi, a former tin mine that closed in 1994 when international prices of tin plummeted to unsustainable levels. At that time more than 3 000 people were employed by the mine, which still had a 40- year lifespan.

KMC has reopened the mine and expects to invest a total of US$249 million with US$100 million already injected into the first phase.

In his remarks during the commissioning of the Plant on Friday, Yahua Group president, Mr Meng Yan, said the revival of Kamativi Mine was a grand moment for communities that had been isolated for almost 30 years.

He said so far significant resources have been invested in community projects while millions more have been paid in taxes.

“We take corporate social responsibility seriously and we have so far invested US$2 million in various community projects and these include rehabilitation of roads, resuscitation of electricity and water supplies and assisting local schools and clinics,” said Mr Yan. 

“KMC has contributed significantly to Zimbabwe’s fiscus as it has paid more than US$8 million in taxes and after the completion of Phase Two, this project will create more jobs and pay more in taxes.”

Mr Yan said the company’s CSR efforts are meant to instill confidence and have a community buy-in so that the community shares the company’s vision.

The company is employing 300 people directly and approximately 1 000 others indirectly through subcontracts. 

During the resuscitation and development of Kamativi Mine, Mr Yan said there has been a remarkable seamless integration between stakeholders from China and Zimbabwe thereby overcoming a myriad of challenges.

He thanked the support from all stakeholders that enabled the company to complete and commission the project. 

Mr Yan said Yahua Group has always embraced the ethos of sustainable development hence it takes seriously issues to do with environmental conservation including efficient water-saving technologies.

KMC is a Joint Venture company operated and controlled by Sichuan PD Technology Group, a subsidiary of the Chinese-listed entity Yahua Group and a local partner, Defold Mine (Private) Limited.

The group is resuscitating Kamativi Mine, which closed in 1994 and for three decades Kamativi had become a ghost town.

On Friday President Mnangagwa expressed excitement that Zimbabwe was recognized as one of the top lithium giants in Africa with the KMC project being key to the country’s development agenda. 

He applauded KMC for creating jobs, opening opportunities for skills transfer saying the Second Republic will continue to create a conducive environment for investors.

Meanwhile, Mr Yan said the success of the resuscitation of the Kamativi Mine project was testimony to the whole world that Zimbabwe under the Second Republic is indeed open for business and an investment destination of choice.

“Zimbabwe with its tranquil and rich mineral resources is the ideal setting for our endeavours. Yahua Group, boasting a legacy of 72 years, feels privileged to develop Kamativi mine together with the Government of this remarkable nation,” he said.

“This achievement stands as a milestone, a tangible testament to the enduring friendship and co-operation between China and Zimbabwe. 

“Under the support of the Government of Zimbabwe we will develop Kamativi Mine into a paragon of modernity, technological prowess, safety, environmental stewardship, global renown and sustainable development,” said Mr Yan.

“While Yahua Group remains the world’s suppliers of lithium hydroxide, the group envisages Zimbabwe becoming a significant base for the development and processing of lithium resources.”

He said the cordial relations between China and Zimbabwe, which date back to the pre-independence times, remain anchored in the operation principle of consultation, collaboration, construction, shared prosperity and win-win co-operation.

As such, Mr Yan said his investment group was committed to contribute more towards Zimbabwe’s socio-economic development to ensure Government achieves Vision 2030 of an empowered upper middle-income economy.

He said the Group also believes that its confidence in the Zimbabwean economy will also attract other investors.



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