Cluff Africa, Mutapa Forge Path to Develop Sandawana


Cluff Africa Ltd. has entered into a non-binding agreement with Mutapa Investment Fund to develop the Sandawana Lithium mine.

The deal assigns Cluff a 45% share of licenses at Sandawana, according to founder Algy Cluff’s statement, though financial details remain undisclosed.

Zimbabwe is actively seeking investors following a stabilization in lithium prices after a volatile boom-to-bust cycle. State miner Kuvimba Mining House has identified a substantial lithium ore resource of 38 million tons at Sandawana.

“We can now begin to develop what we believe to be a world-class, high-grade lithium resource,” Cluff stated. The company plans to start drilling once a final agreement is signed with Mutapa, though no timeline was provided.

Algy Cluff, an industry veteran, is known for his investments in Zimbabwe’s gold sector and founding Cluff Natural Resources Plc, now Deltic Energy Plc. This new venture represents a significant shift towards lithium, a mineral in high demand globally.

The Mutapa Investment Fund (MIF), which now controls Sandawana Mines after Kuvimba was placed under its jurisdiction, aims to unlock its vast lithium resources through Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and Joint Venture partnerships. Sandawana Mines, with an estimated 200 million tonnes of lithium resources, is poised to become one of Africa’s largest lithium assets.

By partnering with investors, MIF seeks to inject new capital, expertise, and technology into the project to ensure efficient lithium extraction and processing. MIF CEO Dr. John Mangudya emphasized the strategic partnerships for exploiting Sandawana’s lithium resources. “The Fund has made a decision for investors to partner with us on BOT and Joint Venture arrangements to exploit the excellent lithium resources at Sandawana.”

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Sandawana Mine has accumulated approximately 950,000 tonnes of stockpiled lithium, much of which is processed into lithium concentrate for the international market. Recent activities include the sale of 150,000 tonnes of lithium, with exports expected to rise in the coming months.

Last year, Sandawana Mines announced over US$50 million investment in an exploratory campaign involving Chinese and local firms. The lithium purity stands at around 1.4%, which is considered high by international standards.

As Zimbabwe’s wealth fund, which also holds gold, nickel, and platinum mines, continues to draw interest from global investors, the collaboration with Cluff Africa marks a significant step in positioning Sandawana as a major player in the lithium market.

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