China to invest $2.8bn in Zimbabwean lithium, energy




People are seen on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) An armed soldier stands on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital, Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 2 of 11 | An armed soldier stands on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital, Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, center left, arrives on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 3 of 11 | Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, center left, arrives on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) Armed soldiers patrol the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 4 of 11 | Armed soldiers patrol the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) Trucks and machinery are seen on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 5 of 11 | Trucks and machinery are seen on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) Workers are seen in a tent at Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 6 of 11 | Workers are seen in a tent at Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) A man walks on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 7 of 11 | A man walks on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) A worker is seen on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital ,Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 8 of 11 | A worker is seen on the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital ,Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) A worker holds a booklet with a portrait of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa at Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 9 of 11 | A worker holds a booklet with a portrait of Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa at Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is seen at Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 10 of 11 | Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is seen at Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) An armed soldier patrols the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe's processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi) 11 of 11 | An armed soldier patrols the grounds of Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s processing plant in Goromonzi about 80 kilometers southeast of the capital Harare, Wednesday, July 5 2023. A Chinese mining company on Wednesday commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe has one of the world’s largest reserves of the metal, which has seen a surge in demand globally due to its use in batteries in electric cars. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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Chinese companies were awarded licenses in the third quarter that could lead to $2.79 billion of investment in Zimbabwe, mostly in mining and energy as the government pushes to develop some of Africa’s biggest lithium deposits and to end power outages, reports Caixin.

The planned investment, a tenfold increase on the $271 million pledged in the same period last year, dwarfs that of China’s closest rival, the United Arab Emirates, which won licenses to invest $498.5 million. The total value of investment licenses awarded was $3.41 billion.

Chinese applications “were the most by number and investment value with mining being their most preferred sector followed by the manufacturing sector,” the Zimbabwe Development Agency, the state-owned unit responsible for securing investment, said Wednesday in a report. China accounted for more than two-thirds of the 180 applications.

Chinese companies have been buying lithium mines, which supply a key component for the batteries used in electric vehicles. They are also involved in revamping and building power plants in the country. Of the planned investment, $2.8 billion is slated for energy projects and $411 million for mining.