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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Kamativi Lithium Mine project targets production this year

Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

WORKS to reopen Kamativi Lithium Mine are progressing well, with the contractor now constructing the plant as the mine targets to start production later this year.

The reopening of the mine which shut down in 1994, has brought back life to the mining community which had become a ghost town.

Once a vibrant mine known for tin production, the closure of Kamativi Mine back in the 90s adversely affected thousands of workers whose livelihoods depended on the mine.

It’s a new dawn for the people of Kamativi as the mine prepares to reopen as a lithium mine.

A recent visit to the mine revealed that work to construct the plant has commenced, with over 200 employees on site as they prepare to bring to life one of the biggest lithium mines in the country.

Mr Sibanda from the local community is one of the employees and he is grateful for the opportunity to be able to work and provide for his family. He is also excited about the new life the reopening of the mine has brought to the locals.

“When this mine closed a lot of people then became fishermen on the Zambezi River as they struggled to make ends meet. My life and that of others is changing for the better as the mine re-opens. Even if you go to the local shops, there is life and activity,” he said.

Kamativi Mining Company Project Manager Mr Jack Ye says they expect the first phase of the project to be complete by the end of October and they target to produce 100 thousand tonnes of lithium concentrate per year. When the second phase is completed production will rise to 2 million tonnes per year.

“We are doing the foundation of the plant and by the end of July it will be done and then installation of the equipment will be done in September.”

Deputy Minister of Mines and Mining Development Honourable Polite Kambamura, who visited the mine, expressed satisfaction with work on the ground to build the plant and emphasised the government’s thrust on value addition.

“We are excited there’s equipment that’s on site. There will be value addition on all lithium. Lithium is the future it puts Zimbabwe on the map,” he said.

Apart from the Kamativi Mine, Sabi Star in Buhera, Arcadia Lithium Mine in Goromonzi and Zulu Lithium Mine in Matabeleland South are also expected to boost the country’s lithium production.

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