gtag('config', 'UA-12595121-1'); Local Zimbabwean Company Ventures into Lithium Battery Production – The Zimbabwe Mail

Local Zimbabwean Company Ventures into Lithium Battery Production

Fanuel Tagwira
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HARARE, – Verify Engineering, a local technology development company, has embarked on the production of lithium batteries, responding to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s call for value addition and beneficiation of minerals to maximize benefits for Zimbabwe.

With the largest reserves of lithium in Africa, Zimbabwe recently banned the export of raw lithium to combat smuggling, which was costing the country an estimated US$1.8 billion in earnings. This move is part of a broader strategy to retain more value from its mineral resources. The Government also approved the Lithium Ore Policy to further consolidate its beneficiation strategy and curb the export and smuggling of lithium-bearing ores.

Central to this strategy is the construction of a Mines to Energy Industrial Park in Mapinga, which will serve as a hub for mineral beneficiation. The project will include two 300MW power stations, a coking plant, a lithium salt plant, a graphite processing plant, a nickel-chromium alloy smelter, and a nickel sulfate plant.

Verify Engineering, under the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, has been at the forefront of technological development. The company already operates an oxygen plant in Feruka, Mutare, exporting oxygen to neighboring countries, including Mozambique.

In an interview with The Herald, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Permanent Secretary, Professor Fanuel Tagwira, revealed that Verify Engineering is progressing towards commercial lithium battery production. “They are now working on new ventures; they are now into lithium battery production. It is still in its infancy, but we want to graduate to lithium batteries and eventually electric vehicle batteries,” he said.

Professor Tagwira added that the fully operational oxygen plant at Feruka is performing optimally, with significant production levels. “The plant is doing well; it is producing lots of oxygen. As you know, it’s supplying Mozambique and Zimbabwe with oxygen. Acetylene and liquid nitrogen are also produced from the same facility,” he explained.

The empowerment of local communities and leveraging local talent under the Second Republic has been pivotal. Zimbabwean students and professionals are integral to projects that could make the country a regional hub for lithium products. “Everything under the Ministry of Higher Education involves 100 percent locals. Zimbabwe has very learned people who, in the past, were not given a chance to contribute. President Mnangagwa has changed this,” said Professor Tagwira.

Highlighting the success of this approach, Professor Tagwira cited the local production of vehicle number plates. Previously, Zimbabwe faced challenges accessing number plates, which were sourced from Germany. However, following a directive from President Mnangagwa, local production commenced, resulting in high-quality number plates with advanced features, including QR codes.

Verify Engineering, a wholly government-owned private limited company formed in April 2005, has seen significant advancement under the Second Republic. The company has become a main developer and applier of technology in Zimbabwe, aligning with the national vision of value addition and mineral beneficiation.

As Verify Engineering ventures into lithium battery production, the initiative underscores Zimbabwe’s commitment to harnessing its vast mineral resources for economic growth and technological advancement. This move not only aligns with President Mnangagwa’s vision but also positions Zimbabwe as a key player in the global lithium market.