MASVINGO: Following a USD200 million investment from their latest acquisition, Sinomine Resource Group, who are the new owners of Zimbabwe’s leading lithium producer Bikita Minerals said they are expecting an annual foreign exchange income of USD300 million, allowing the government to collect more tax for utility use.
The development follows the mine’s earlier announcement that they are investing USD200 million in the construction of a new spodumene (chemical grade-lithium) processing plant and the expansion of its existing (technical grade-lithium) processing plant.
“After completion of investment and construction the mine will generate an annual foreign exchange income of USD300 million, thus more revenue to the country,” said company Managing Director Wang Jianhua.
Zimbabwe is targeting USD500 million from lithium exports by next year as the country moves closer to the target of a USD12 billion mining industry by 2023.
Located 352km from Harare, along the Masvingo-Mutare highway, the mine also they are set to construct a power line from the Tokwe power station which is expected to improve the stage grid as well as benefit the surrounding community.
“We are also working towards construction of a 110km 132KVA power line from Tokwe power station to Bikita. This will improve the stage grid and benefit the surrounding community at an approximate cost of USD20 million and further create about 1000 jobs,” Jianhua added.
Meanwhile, as Sinomine Resources Group came, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando expressed confidence in the new owner as the rush over lithium continues in light of the mineral’s use in the manufacturing of electric vehicles.