Zimbabwe: Government focus into mining of lithium
Zimbabwe can charge the world’s population of electric cars. This is according to Winston Chitando who is the minister for mining in the country.
Mr. Chitando revealed that Zimbabwe was well capable of supplying about 20% of global lithium demand. He said this was possible if all the known lithium resources in the country were exploited. Lithium is a metal alkali used in batteries of electric cars. Zimbabwe is among the ten lithium producers in the world.
The world prices for lithium have rapidly increased by double over the past two year period. This trend has prompted the government of Zimbabwe to expand lithium mining to boost its supply to the world markets. The new government, under President Emerson Mnagangwa administration, aims to re-establish lithium mining. The mining sector has been dull for a couple of years under the former president Robert Mugabe administration.
The new government seeks to attract fresh donor funding in the mining sector that will aid in pushing lithium mining in the country. Mr. Chitando revealed that Zimbabwe had the potential to become the world’s leading lithium producer. He also told that the ministry had already made a deal with a small listed company that would see a generation of $1.4 billion in revenue from an eight-year-long lithium project. However, the minister refused to disclose the company until the official stock market announcement was made.
The ministry of mining has adopted various strategies to lure investors into the under-explored and under-capitalized mining sector. Among them is a change in mining laws that limit indigestion rules by mandating the majority state ownership of diamonds and platinum only.
Zimbabwe rakes interest revenue from other minerals like gold, coal and coal-bed methane. However, lithium is currently attracting more interest than other metals in the country. The mining sector faces challenges in lack of capital. The government is committed to outsourcing funds.