Spodumene lithium production project to create over 1000 jobs

Gay Matambo

New investors coming into the country have been challenged to leave a legacy of community development by transforming areas they operate in amid revelations that the new Spodumene lithium production project in Bikita is set to create massive employment opportunities.

One of the traditional leaders in Bikita, Chief Budzi said, “This is a good project for us which we welcome with open hands. As the President has said, communities should benefit from the resources that are within their areas.”

Chief Marozva weighed in, “We didn’t see much from the previous investor, but this one is assisting us a lot because before they even started mining, they donated a solar project to our clinic Shumbaimwe.”

“Our youths were roaming around doing drugs. It is reliving that they will get jobs soon from this project,” noted Chief Mazungunye.

The chairperson of Sinomine, Mr Wang Pingwei noted that apart from creating jobs, the project will come with the construction of a 110 kilometre power line to Bikita via Masvingo.

“Benefit the public, do good for the best has been Sinomine’s value in practicing social responsibility. In 2022, we launched a series of programmes that benefit the local community such as the financial aid for students and the school feeding programme,” he said.

Masvingo Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Ezra Chadzamira noted that such multi-million-dollar projects will foster community development and grow the province’s GDP.

He said, “As we celebrate this milestone Your Excellency, the province cherishes your clarity of purpose with regards to calling everyone Zimbabwean to be actively involved in rebuilding our great country.”

Vice President, General (Retired) Dr Constantino Chiwenga challenged Sinomine to maximise the value of lithium by developing a lithium- ion battery value chain to accelerate the country’s transition to clean energy.

“Exploring global markets and trends aligns well with the African mining vision of developing a mining industry that is a key player in the vibrant and competitive national, continental and worldwide capital on commodities markets,” he said.

The Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Winston Chitando added his voice saying investments are result of President Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business.

“Since Sinomine took over Bikita Minerals, they have taken efforts to optimise what is on the ground an right now we have export permits of Bikita Minerals which amount to US$40 million more than doubling the highest peak produced by Bikita Minerals over the last five years.”

Zimbabwe is targeting US$500 million from lithium exports by next year as the country moves closer to the target of a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.