The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has supported the government’s decision to ban the export of raw lithium citing that the export of the ore has been prejudicing the government through loss of revenue which is detrimental to the country’s target of attaining the US$12 billion Mining industry by end of 2023.
The Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) through its President Ms Henrietta Rushwaya says that the export of raw lithium gave rise to leakages and serious job exports in the lithium subsector with other countries benefiting from jobs that could have been of native Zimbabweans.
The ZMF said the ban on raw lithium export would lead to job creation and transfer of skills to local experts thereby creating a green energy future for Zimbabwe.
“The ban is important because there have been a lot of leakages, loss of revenue on the government’s part, and not realizing the true value of the resource, which has a negative effect on the attainment us$12 billion mining industry by 2023.
“The ban will also lead to the participation of serious players in the beneficiation process, job creation for local indigenous Zimbabweans and skills transfer to locals by experts.
“The benefits derived in lithium processing are but not limited to: throughput gain, process stability, energy consumption reduction, and increased yield. We applaud the Government initiative to come up with the SI,” Rushwaya said.
The Minister of Mines and Mining Development Hon Winston Chitando through section 3 (1) (a) of the base Minerals Export Control Act with immediate effect gazetted an SI that states that no lithium-bearing ores, or un-beneficiated lithium whatsoever, shall be exported from Zimbabwe to another country except under written permission of the Minister.
Below is the Statutory Instrument (SI) in full:-
“UNDER the powers conferred upon me by section 3(1)(a) of the Base Minerals Export Control Act [Chapter 21:05], I, Winston Chitando, MP, Minister of Mines and Mining Development, by this my order direct that with immediate effect as follows:—
- This order may be cited as the Base Minerals Export Control (Unbeneficiated Lithium Bearing Ores) Order, 2022.
- In this order— “lithium-bearing ore” means any mineral ore containing lithium; “unbeneficiated lithium means any lithium in whatever form that has not undergone processing to an extent that would exempt it from the payment of export tax under section 12B (“Collection of tax on exportation of unbeneficiated lithium; determination of value thereof”) of the Value Added Tax Act [Chapter 23:12];
- (1) No lithium bearing ores, or unbeneficiated lithium whatsoever, shall be exported from Zimbabwe to another country except under written permit of the Minister given under subsection (2).
(2) On written application by any party—
(a) wishing to export samples of lithium-bearing ore or unbeneficiated lithium for assaying outside Zimbabwe;
“(b) to a miner or exporter of lithium upon production of written proof satisfactory to the Minister that there are exceptional circumstances justifying the exportation in question and that the lithium-bearing ores or un-beneficiated lithium in question have been valued in terms of section 12D (3) of the Value Added Tax Act [Chapter 23:12] for purposes of payment of the export tax on un-beneficiated lithium, that is to say—the market value thereof on the date of exportation has been determined by reference to a reputable metals exchange; or
“(ii) its value is reflected on any document required to be delivered in terms of the Customs and Excise Act [Chapter 23:02] for its exportation under that Act.
” 4. To avoid doubt—
(a) section 5 of the principal Act provides that “An order shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith in any other enactment or any trade or customs agreement to which the State is a party.”; and
“(b) section 6 of the principal Act provides that any person who contravenes or fails to comply with any order or with the terms and conditions of any permit issued to him or her under an order shall be guilty of an offence and liable to—
“(i) a fine not exceeding level 9 or twice the value of the base minerals in respect of which the offence is committed, whichever is the greater; or
(ii) imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years; or to both such fine and such imprisonment,” the SI read.