Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Wednesday officially commissioned China’s Sinomine Resource Group’s new spodumene processing plant and an expanded petalite processing plant at Zimbabwe’s Bikita Lithium Mine.
“I commend Sinomine Resource Group for taking heed of my government’s call for beneficiation and value addition of lithium ores by investing over 300 million U.S. dollars into the various stages of the project,” said Mnangagwa.
He said the significant milestone aligns with the government’s efforts to consolidate Zimbabwe’s position as a regional and global hub for lithium mining and related industries.
“The investment is in sync with my administration’s focus on mineral value addition and beneficiation towards propelling the multi-faceted growth of our economy,” said Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe is aware of its strategic responsibility to supply vital resources to a vast number of global industries for shared prosperity, he said.
Mnangagwa said that despite the commendable milestones achieved in the lithium sub-sector, players must remain on course to produce battery-grade lithium and other related value-added products.
Sinomine Resource Group Chairman Wang Pingwei said the development at Bikita Mine testifies to Sinomine’s commitment to investing in Africa.
He said reaching full capacity at Bikita Mine enhances the processing plants’ efficiency and quality of output.
“Looking ahead, we aim to enhance our mining operations, increase employee benefits, and extend our research and development into other minerals. We are also exploring the feasibility of a refinery plant to further expand our industrial chain and add value to our product, reinforcing Zimbabwe’s position in the global new energy industry,” said Wang.
He said Sinomine is committed to the socio-economic progress of the community through corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Mining and value addition is a key to achieving the country’s growth ambitions, said Soda Zhemu, Zimbabwe’s mines and mining development minister.
He said his ministry has drawn up strategies to ensure that the mining sector reaches its full potential, including promoting the exploration of minerals through engaging in partnerships with the private sector, establishing new mines across the country, and working on policies to encourage mineral beneficiation and value addition.
Zimbabwe holds Africa’s largest deposits of lithium, a key battery mineral, and hopes to capitalize on the global push for green energy.