Lithium exports projected to reach US$500m target

Staff Reporter

Reports reaching the Harare Post from the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) reveal that Lithium exports increased from US$2 001316.30 in 2018 to US$373 716 473 in August 2023.

The Harare Post spoke to a contact within the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development, who said that in order for the country to attain a US$12 billion mining sector by 2023, Lithium mining was supposed to contribute at least US$500 million.

“By August 2023, Lithium exports were US$373 71 6 473, 32, equalling 75% of the target. We are optimistic that the Lithium industry is able to meet the remaining 25% which is valued at US$126 283 526, 67 during the last quarter of 2023 (Q4/23).

“Lithium exports in 2023 increased from US$35 514 492.50 in 2022 to US$373 716 473.32 in August 2023.  Bikita Minerals (Pvt) Ltd contributed about 64% of the total Lithium exports comprising of Petalite which is valued at US$219 596 062.14 and Spodumene valued at US$18 114 700,” said the contact. 

A contact from  Bikita Minerals says that the mine has a number of sub-contractors which are doing mine extraction, namely Kinsey and Sino Hydro.

“Two Chinese companies Shinhai and Jansui are responsible for Bikita Minerals plant expansion efforts. The mining company was projected to produce 100 000 metric tonnes of lithium in 2023 which translates to a revenue production of USD 250 million.

“So far the mining company has extracted 113 000 metric tonnes of Petalite and Spodumene which exceeded its projected target of 100 000 metric tonnes,” said the contact.

The contact further informed that Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe (PLZ) located in Goromonzi is the second contributor with 28% contribution to total exports. PLZ is 100% owned by Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Group of China. He stated that the group was set to construct an electric vehicle batteries manufacturing plant in Morroco which will start production in 2028 with a goal to produce 50 000 metric tonnes of lithium phosphate iron cathode per annum.

The remaining 8% was contributed by Max Minds Sabi Star in Buhera and Kuvimba Mining House.