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Rising lithium prices to boost the economy

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Story by Owen Mandovha

ZIMBABWE’s earnings from lithium exports are set to rise owing to soaring prices of the commodity on the global market, with Arcadia Lithium Mine which has already started shipments of lithium concentrates set to be officially commissioned this week.

Global electric vehicle (EVs) sales jumped 55 percent in 2022 with forecasts pointing to another 35 percent surge this year as the adoption of EVs continues unabated on a global scale. 

This in turn has revved up lithium prices as the commodity is critical in producing one of the key components of electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries.

Zimbabwe’s lithium mining sector which has several projects under varying levels of development is set to position the country as a notable player in the industry and the electric vehicle market.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to officially commission Arcadia Lithium Mine and Processing Plant on Wednesday and exactly five years ago, the President was at the same site to commission the start exploration of the mineral which has now developed into a fully-fledged mining operation which started exporting lithium concentrates two months ago.

Arcadia Mine joins Bikita Minerals which is also fully operational, while Zulu Lithium Mine, Sabi Star Lithium Mine and Kamativi Lithium Mine are nearing full development and are expected to add to national lithium production.

In China, battery-grade lithium prices have soared by 10.6 percent to more than 20 thousand United States dollars per tonne, while over the last two years, the same has risen 10-fold as demand continues to outstrip supply.