The country’s biggest lithium producer, Bikita Minerals will export its first spodumene concentrate consignment today. The company has been exporting petalite for decades and is ranked as one of the top lithium-producing mines in the world.
Bikita Minerals is targeting to ship 7000mt of lithium spodumene concentrates and a target of 70 000mt by the end of the year.
The average product grade for the lithium spodumene that Bikita will be exporting is between 5% to 5.5% Li20.
China’s Sinomine Resource Group, the owners of Bikita Minerals who early last year acquired the project, invested US$200 million to build a spodumene concentrates plant to expand its mining operations.
Bikita Minerals has taken heed of the President of Zimbabwe’s call to prioritize value addition and beneficiation before exporting Minerals.
The President hinted that the company has the potential to emerge as a key player in the rise and popularity of the battery manufacturing industry. However, he also expressed his concern that the company should not benefit alone from global achievement but the community in which it is located should also benefit.
He said that his government has implored the company, to prioritize the Bikita community as it digs in its soil and urged the company to treat its workers and environment with great care.
“We have told them that under the Second Republic, we would want to see that lithium is essential to the growth and development of Zimbabwe’s economy. They told us that after two years the company will be generating US$500 MILLION per annum.
“Companies are challenged to listen to their host communities and address their concerns. Communities must equally appreciate that investors are indispensable partners to the realisation of sustainable development and a higher quality of life for all.
“Mining companies must be good corporate responsible citizens, with Corporate Social, Environmental Social, and Governance aspects being critical components of their entities. Tangible socio-economic advantages and benefits should accrue to societies in which they operate. In undertaking their ventures, companies are challenged to listen to their host communities and address their concerns. Communities must, on the other hand, equally appreciate that investors are indispensable partners to the realisation of sustainable development and a higher quality of life,
“For greater harmony and unity of purpose, mechanisms should be developed to improve transparency and accountability so that aspects of the project are understood, while grievances are heard and addressed. “The safety and treatment of employees is also a key component. Mining companies must strive to be model employers by treating and remunerating their workers appropriately,” The President said.
Bikita Lithium Mine is Zimbabwe’s biggest lithium producer and is the home to the world’s largest-known deposit of the metal at around 11 million tonnes.
Bikita Minerals has been an active mining site for around 100 years.
For over 50 years, the mining and extraction of lithium minerals have been at the centre of Bikita Minerals’ activities. Today, Bikita Minerals is the World’s foremost supplier of the lithium mineral Petalite.