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Impala Platinum’s Zimbabwe unit eyes expansion into lithium

Implats chairperson Thandi Orleyn

Implats chairperson Thandi Orleyn

15th June 2023

By: Bloomberg


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Impala Platinum Holding’s Zimbabwe unit is considering expanding into other metals, including lithium.

The Johannesburg-based platinum miner still sees a future in Zimbabwe and is on the lookout for opportunities to invest in other mining areas, according to Implats chairperson Thandi Orleyn. Its subsidiary, Zimplats Holdings, commissioned a key piece of processing equipment Wednesday as part of a $1.8-billion expansion programme announced in 2021.

“We are not going to rush into any untested areas,” Orleyn said in Ngezi, Zimbabwe, home to one of Southern Africa’s largest platinum deposits. “We are continuously looking at everything that is going to ensure that what we are part of is environmentally sustainable.”

Most of the lithium from Zimbabwe — which has one of Africa’s largest resources of the metal — is usually shipped to China or South Africa. But an expected surge in output from Zimbabwe over the next few years looks set to make the country a key cog in the global battery supply chain as nations rush to secure supplies of materials necessary for the transition from fossil fuels.

Zimbabwe has the world’s second-largest reserves of platinum, which occurs with base metals including nickel and copper. It also mines nickel, chrome, lithium and coal.

Edited by Bloomberg


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