Fresh lithium deposits to transform Zim economy

Source: Fresh lithium deposits to transform Zim economy | The Herald September 28, 2016

Munyaradzi Musiiwa: Midlands Correspondent

LITHIUM is set to transform the country’s economy following a fresh scramble for the mineral by foreign companies after new deposits were discovered around Harare, Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister, Engineer Fred Moyo has said. In an interview in Mberengwa South last week, Eng Moyo said there were new deposits of lithium in areas surrounding Harare and foreign companies have been jostling for mining licences.Eng Moyo said Government was shifting focus to lithium following an increased demand for the mineral worldwide adding that this could be a breakthrough for Zimbabwe.

“There is a scramble for lithium. Right now we have a lot of lithium potential around Harare.

“If you check and investigate what is happening, foreign companies are scrambling for lithium around Harare in the similar manner that European countries scrambled for Africa. The world is going to be run on the basis of batteries. We are hoping that that sector will take off. Zimbabwe has vast deposits of lithium.”

The deputy minister’s concerns come amid calls by industry experts that Zimbabwe should embark on an exploration programme to unearth more lithium reserves to build a strong supply base for the proposed lithium beneficiation and value addition plant.

Lithium mining expert Grant Hudson who is also managing director for Bikita Minerals noted that setting up a lithium beneficiation plant is a noble idea that must be pushed if certain fundamentals are met.

“The proposal to set up a beneficiation plant by Government is a noble idea considering the importance of the lithium group minerals to the economic growth of any country. However, I believe we do not have enough deposits for a beneficiation plant at the moment.

“We don’t have enough spodumene, the deposits are too small therefore extensive exploration work must be undertaken to make sure we discover more deposits before we can think of setting up a beneficiation plant,” said Mr Hudson.

Zimbabwe is the world’s fifth largest producer of lithium after Australia, Chile, Argentina and China and has the opportunity to increase its share of the growing market. Other major producers are Brazil, Portugal and the United States.

Kamativi tin Mine has three very big resources, Bikita Minerals are also on an expansion drive. We also have some lithium deposits in Mberengwa, Mutoko and round Harare. Lithium has a very big potential because it is the future,” he said.

Eng Moyo said Government was pinning its hopes on the revival of Kamativi Tin Mine and the expansion of Bikita Minerals as these are some of the biggest lithium mines in the country that have vast deposits.

He said Government will speed up the finalisation of Kamativi deal which will see the Matabeleland North based mine resuming production after 21 years.

“At Kamativi we had sub agreements that we are scrutinizing. The main agreement has been sealed. We are now looking at the technical agreement, the funding agreement, marketing agreement and many other issues . . . because if you carelessly look at those the main agreement might not work.

So that is what the board is looking at. We hope that it won’t be too long,” said Eng Moyo.

Lithium is used mainly as a component of rechargeable Li-ion batteries and as a treatment for several types of mental disorders.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 12
  • comment-avatar
    Mukanya 6 years ago

    Since when has minerals transformed our economy?
    the ideal heading should have read as; Lithium set to transform the lives of elite remnants overlooked during the DIAMOND LOOTING”.

    • comment-avatar
      MikeH 6 years ago

      YES !!! Couldn’t have put it better if I tried ……… but aren’t you forgetting something ? GOLD.

    • comment-avatar
      Nicholas Marufu 6 years ago

      Viva Zim, viva our lithium deposits………this will positively transform zim economy.

  • comment-avatar
    Johann 6 years ago

    The truth is it’s never been any different in Africa. Rhodes cut a deal with Lobengula so that Lobengula and his cohort could personally benefit from resources mined by Rhodes. Mugabe is cutting deals with whosoever pays him enough money so that he and his cohort can personally benefit from resources mined. Lithium won’t change the fortune for the country as a whole. The difference with Rhodes is that the British empire developed the infrastructure of the country. There’s no one to develop the infrastructure now.

    • comment-avatar
      Harper 6 years ago

      Yes, Soloman Majuru’s estate was said to be valued at $9 Billion. Where are Majuru Bridge, Majuru Hall, Majuru University, Majuru Scholarships?

  • comment-avatar
    Harper 6 years ago

    It will not transform the economy if Obert and pals get there first.

  • comment-avatar
    Fallenz 6 years ago

    Bogus..! Zanupf has already “transformed” the economy. They have taken it from a vibrant, production-based economy to one of the most extreme examples of economic rape and ruin. Few nations have a wealth-gap between the have’s and have-not’s even close to that Zim has become… that’s the one thing zanupf has developed an efficiency for doing. What is now was accomplished in only 36 years.

    The problem with dependence on mining is that it isn’t sustainable. If zanupf is allowed to continue, Zim will end up being nothing but a desolate heap of mine tailings… all for the sake of the few who will benefit.

    The heavy lorries will continue to beat up the roads, and the roads will continue to not be maintained, because the zanupf bigwigs will continue to suck the proceedes away for themselves.

    Mukanye, Johann, and Harper are all correct. For Zim citizens, lithium deposits mean nothing.

  • comment-avatar
    chimusoro 6 years ago

    These resources must remain in the hands of blacks. They belong to us!

    • comment-avatar
      MikeH 6 years ago

      The resources, or rather the proceeds from such, will remain in the hands of blacks but not very many of them. Diamond looting by a few is a comparable scenario.

    • comment-avatar
      fixzimbabwe 6 years ago

      Don’t worry Sir, Mugabe and ZANU are extremely black.

    • comment-avatar
      Theuns Els 6 years ago

      If you say so, chimusoro, what have you gained from the resources that are in black hands? Have you made millions you never earned like Mugabe,Grace and all the rest? You are misinformed and arrogant.

  • comment-avatar
    Theuns Els 6 years ago

    Just another bag of rich mineral deposits that will be taken for self enrichment by Mugabe and his cohorts, Manangagwe included.

    Grace, how much will you get?