Zimbabwe’s biggest lithium miner, Bikita Minerals has resumed operations.
Bikita Minerals resumed operations after it suspended operations for seven days to address administrative concerns raised by authorities at the plant the company said in a press release last week.
“This notice serves to inform our stakeholders and partners that we have put our operations on hold for 7 days to address administrative concerns raised by authorities at our plant.
As a law-abiding corporate, we remain committed to fully complying with all requirements of the law and expect to resume operations once all the outstanding issues have been addressed,” the company said recently.
Demand is rising for battery metals like lithium due to an increase in the hunt for cleaner energy.
The company intends to expand existing operations at the mine after purchasing it for $180m in January 2022. A further $200m has been invested in two plants that are being constructed to create 250,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate and 480,000 tonnes of petalite annually.
These minerals are crucial to the glass and ceramic industry, and a key battery mineral, respectively. The projects are set to begin by July. Chinese firms have invested over $700m in Zimbabwe as the country possesses some of the most significant lithium deposits worldwide.
The Sinomine Zimbabwean mining unit follows after recent partnerships between Chinese firms and Zimbabwe. Chengxin Lithium Group, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, and Canmax Technologies have all invested in Zimbabwe.
The Bikita mine is the largest lithium mine in Zimbabwe. The mine is privately owned and holds the world’s largest-known deposit of lithium at approximately 11 million tonnes according to Wikipedia. The mine is located in Masvingo Province. The Bikita Minerals has reserves amounting to 10.8 million tonnes of lithium ore grading 1.4% lithium thus resulting in 0.15 million tonnes of lithium.