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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Battery manufacturing plant to be set up in Bulawayo

Story by Providence Maraneli

There is excitement in Matabaleland South province as one of the biggest lithium mines in the region, Zulu Lithium is a few days away from opening.

In two weeks’time, the spodumene processing plant will be up and running and it will be a fulfilment of the Second Republic’s vision of having a US$12 billion mining economy this year.

The new mine, which will join a long list of lithium producers that have taken the mining industry by storm, is set to open in ten days’ time, setting Matabeleland South province on a sustainable developmental path.

The mine which is set to be the biggest producer of spodumene, a high value type of lithium used for manufacturing batteries will also establish a battery manufacturing plant in Bulawayo.

“We are not an exporter of raw multi-million lithium that’s the reason why we set up this plant, because we understand the thrust of this government of beneficiation,” noted Zulu Lithium General Manager Mr Jabulani Chirasha.

“We have already been advanced with $34 million from a Chinese company to supply processed spodumene and we are seeing the potential of this project,” he went on

The government is satisfied with the work and investment at Zulu Lithium Mine which has created employment with 95 percent of the workforce being locals.

“This is one of the largest undeveloped lithium resources in the country if not Africa. This plant and all the investment amounted to about US$80 million and this shows how committed this company is in investing in our country,” noted Deputy Minister for Mines and Minerals Development Honourable Polite Kambamura.

“The government has banned exporting of raw lithium and this company has set up a plant to locally beneficiate lithium before exporting and it is so critical in our endeavour as the government,” added Kambamura.

While other countries have nationalised lithium production, the government of Zimbabwe has opened doors for investors to set up processing plants for value addition and benefaction.

Zulu Lithium, a subsidiary of Premier African Minerals, joins other big mines like Arcadia, Bikita and Sabi in the local lithium mining industry

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