By Owen Mandovha
THE production of lithium is set to boost the country’s economic fortunes towards attaining Vision 2030, with Huayou Cobalt having started construction of the US$300 million commercial plant at the Arcadia Lithium Mine in Goromonzi.
It is just a few months away before Zimbabwe joins the major league of global lithium producers as the flagship Arcadia Lithium Mine project takes shape.
A tour conducted at the mine site this Monday saw its Pilot Plant Manager Mr George Togara revealing that the new investors are proceeding to the commercial production phase, riding on the success of the pilot plant commissioned last year.
“The pilot plant is our information hub which provides us with the capability to grade the ore quality and it is the one which will inform us on the final structure and size of the commercial plant and so far the results we have got are quite impressive, hence the investors are taking the project to the next phase,” he said.
At least 600 workers will descend at Arcadia Lithium Mine in Goromonzi to undertake construction works of a commercial plant which is set to become the biggest hard rock petalite processing plant in Africa by the end of the year.
“Work has already started so that we build the commercial plant. We are going to create a conveyor belt to transport the ore from the open cast mine to the plant and by the end of the year we must be done,” he added.
Once complete, the plant will have a processing capacity of 4 500 000 tonnes of lithium ore annually, producing approximately 300 000 tonnes of lithium concentrates in what will be a game-changing project which will create new industrial downstream and upstream linkages and result in massive direct and indirect employment opportunities.