ZIMBABWE’s lithium deposits, which are the largest in Africa and fifth in the world, have set the country on course to becoming a key player in the green revolution.
As the world moves from fossil fuels to green energy largely powered by solar and lithium batteries, Zimbabwe has witnessed an unprecedented influx of lithium mining investments.
The country boasts of several lithium projects that have an investment value of more than US$5 billion and these include Bikita Mine with a resource deposit of more than 11 million tonnes.
In Goromonzi, Mashonaland East Province, there is Arcadia Mine which is targeting an annual production of 200 000 tonnes, while Sabi Star Mine in Manicaland province is anticipating production of more than one million tonnes of raw ore.
Mirrorplex Mine in Shamva, Mutoko Lithium, Zulu Lithium and Kamativi Mine are some of the mines leading the country’s green revolution.
Development economist, Mr Luxon Zembe is upbeat about the prospects that lie ahead, especially after the government banned exports of raw lithium ore.
‘‘The lithium rush currently being experienced in the country is quite encouraging as it will place the economy on the right path to sustainable development if managed well, taking into consideration the finite nature of these mineral resources.’’
Mineral investment economist, Dr Lyman Mlambo is equally confident that the country is on the right path towards industrialisation.
‘‘Lithium has got many uses from that range from industrial, energy provision as well as medical which makes the production going around the country. A yawning opportunity for value chain investment to take place inside the country and government is justified by banning the exportation of raw ore.’’
With the current trajectory in the mining sector, particularly in lithium production, there is hope that the US$12 billion extractive economy is attainable by the end of the year.