Zimbabwe to take centre stage as ‘world’s next lithium valley’

As more nations transition to sustainable energy, demand for lithium is predicted to continue to rise, pushing up its price even as supply grows.

Lithium is a critical component in lithium-ion batteries, which power electric cars. Energy Transition reported that the Southern African country discovered this ‘white gold’ in 1990.

“Exploration at Bikita Mine in Masvingo Province – the world’s largest known deposit of the metal at around 11 million tonnes – reportedly began in 1953, back when it was hardly a prominent mineral.

“Electric vehicles consequently triggered a lithium rush in the country and internationally as miners scramble for the mineral of the moment,” said the organisation.

Now, Zimbabwe aims to achieve $12 billion in its mining industry by year’s end.

Pfungwa Kunaka, Zimbabwe’s Permanent Secretary for Mines and Mining Development, will speak on the country’s latest project commissioning in exploration, extraction and refining at the Critical Minerals Africa (CMA) 2023 summit in November.

The CMA 2023 summit will run from October 17 to 19.

“Comprising 13 percent of GDP, Zimbabwe’s mining industry is diverse and world-class, boasting over 60 mineral commodities and the second-largest reserves of platinum group metals (PGMs) globally.

“While PGMs are expected to continue to dominate the sector – with three new projects under development at the Darwendale, Karo and Mupani prospects – significant growth is anticipated in diamond, coal and chrome mining, along with gold production that is projected to double by 2025,” claimed Energy Capital & Power.

It went on to say that, in keeping with the worldwide move to greener energy, Zimbabwe has a budding lithium mining business and the greatest lithium deposits in Africa.

“Last July, a Chinese mining company commissioned a $300-million lithium processing plant with the capacity to produce 4.5 million metric tons for export per year.

“Having banned the export of raw lithium earlier this year, the Zimbabwean Government is seeking to drive downstream infrastructure development and become a regional processing hub for lithium-ion batteries and other climate-friendly power sources.”

The nation’s government has announced intentions to introduce new incentives for existing mining companies, as well as formalise small-scale mining operations, promote SMEs, and support local manufacturing of mining consumables, in order to attract investment in the country’s crucial minerals industry.


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