By ZBC Reporter
THE Arcadia Lithium Mine pilot plant is now functional and is set to provide a pathway for Zimbabwe to become one of the biggest lithium producers in the world.
In the coming few months Zimbabwe will start delivering hundreds of tones of petalite concentrates to Chinese and Russian off takers from the Arcadia Lithium Mine in Goromonzi.
This follows the commissioning of a pilot plant by Mines and Mining Development Minister Honourable Winston Chitando who indicated that Zimbabwe will become a significant lithium producer in the world on the back of a growing electric vehicle market.
This Arcadia mining project is part of vision 2030 and the 12-billion-dollar mining economy by the year 2023 and signifies the hard work that the Government courtesy of President Emmerson Mnangagwa who has created a conducive economic environment that has invited foreign investors. Indeed, this pilot plant will culminate into full lithium production, he said.
With Arcadia being the 8th largest lithium hard rock in the world, Prospect Resources Executive Director Mr Paul Chimbodza described the launch of the pilot plant as an important step for Zimbabwe to become a global lithium hub, with over 18 million United States dollars having been invested so far.
This mine is the 8th largest and contains high purity lithium products. The drilling of over 26 000 meters of exploration has indeed provided us with confident results that we are sure will bring in more investment in the mine, noted Chimbodza.
Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mashonaland East Province Senator Apollonia Munzverengwi welcomed the mining venture highlighting its importance in boosting the provincial economy.
As Mashonaland East Province, we embrace this exciting development in helping create jobs, boost the provincial economy and also enhance value addition.
The first shipments of petalite concentrates from the pilot plant to Sinomine and Sibelco will kick-start the product verification process.
Once satisfied, construction of a commercial plant, 40 times bigger than the pilot plant is expected to commence.