Miners Plead For Scrapping Of Lithium Ore Export Ban
Medium and small-scale miners have asked President Emmerson Mnangagwa to review the ban on lithium ore saying it threatens the viability of their operations.
The government banned the export of lithium ore in December last year in a bid to encourage local processing of the metal.
However, in a letter written to Mnangagwa Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) president Henrietta Rushwaya seen by Bloomberg, lithium ore stockpiles have risen to 2 million tonnes. Wrote Rushwaya:
The unexpected ban has prejudiced standing offtake agreements between miners and international buyers, some of whom had taken loans from their respective countries to trade in these minerals.
Lithium is used in batteries of electric vehicles, batteries of laptops, and cell phones, as well as in the glass and ceramics industry.
Most of Zimbabwe’s lithium is exported to China or South Africa, Rushwaya said.
Meanwhile, Chinese firms Chengxin Lithium Group and Sinomine Resource Group are exploring a joint venture to set up a battery metals processing plant in Zimbabwe.
Another Chinese firm, Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt has reportedly invested US$300 million to develop a processing plant at its Arcadia lithium mine.
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