Prospect lithium mining project gets SEZ status


PROSPECT Lithium Zimbabwe’s project is set to attract $165 million in foreign direct investment with potential to generate an estimated $3 billion income in the first 12 years of operation, the Zimbabwe Special Economic Zones Authority (Zimseza), has said.

The authority has already granted the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) status to the company to undertake the project, which is expected to create up to 10 000 jobs along the value chain.

In a media update, Zimseza chief executive officer Mr Edwin Kondo said the authority, together with Prospect Lithium, were working on modalities to operationalise the project.

“The project will attract foreign direct investment to the tune of $165 million with a potential income to Zimbabwe of about $2,93 billion during the first 12 years of operation,” said Mr Kondo.

The company has completed mineral exploration work and is working on a definitive feasibility study on its mining claims on the Arcadia Lithium Project in the Arcturus area of Goromonzi.”

Under Phase 1, Mr Kondo said, the company will utilise standard mining technologies common in lithium mining, namely crushing, dense media separation, spirals and flotation.

“Average annual production of approximately 212 000tpa of six percent spodumene concentrates, 216 000tpa of four percent petalite concentrate and 188 000lbs of tantalum is projected,” he said.

Mr Kondo said the company was excited about the possibility of developing Phase 2, which would be the chemical plant to produce either lithium carbonate or lithium hydroxide.

“In addition, the company’s petalite concentrates can be used in multiple configurations in the unique global glass and ceramics markets. The key focus of this phase will be on value addition and beneficiation.

“Zimbabwe is now focusing on exports, which bring real value to the nation instead of mere commodities,” he said.

It is hoped that the project will see the creation of an estimated 500 jobs during the construction phase and roughly 260 direct jobs.

“According to our market and industry research as Zimseza, we project that the indirect jobs that will be created as a result of the successful implementation of this zone will be in excess of 10 000 through the value chain and linkages with local industries and the domestic economy,” said Mr Kondo.

The project has the potential to produce battery grade lithium carbonate and hydroxide, which would enhance downstream industries.—

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