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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

US$1,4bn lithium project for Mutoko moving forward

Story by Margaret Matibiri

THE Moti Group, a South African conglomerate, is moving forward with its lithium project in Mutoko, on a 10,000-hectare site, following promising valuations of the project’s long-term potential.

Expert mining consultants and geologists have assessed the site’s potential value at up to US$1.4 billion, and exploration efforts are set to proceed with works expected to start late this October.

Mr Dondo Mogajane, the CEO of the Moti Group, emphasized the company’s commitment to invest its resources as a majority shareholder in the project. He stated, “The Moti Group wouldn’t invest time, energy, or funds into a project unless it was financially viable.”

The Moti Group, one of South Africa’s most successful black-owned businesses, acknowledges Zimbabwe’s abundant mineral resources.

The group had made headlines after negative reports about the project were raised by an investigative journalism team known as AmaBhungane.

The team has however said these are attempts to tarnish the black-owned company’s reputation.

AmaBhungane alleged that the Moti Group was trying to shortchange a Chinese company in the investment deal, a claim strongly denied by the Moti Group.

They pointed out that the Chinese company, led by Pei Zhenhua, one of China’s wealthiest and most successful entrepreneurs, had conducted its own due diligence on a part of the reserve and remained a minority shareholder in the project.

The Moti Group criticized the selective presentation of information to support a narrative while ignoring facts or seeking the Moti Group’s input or fact-checking.

The Moti Group accused former employee Clinton van Niekerk and former business partner Frikkie Lutzkie, with whom they are currently in litigation, of collaborating with the media to damage the company’s reputation.

However, the Moti Group says it remains committed to its lithium project in Zimbabwe, emphasizing its confidence in the project’s financial viability.

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