Zimbabwe miner looking at refinery upgrade for battery grade lithium

7th May 2018

By: Reuters


Font size: - +

HARARE – A Zimbabwean mining company is considering upgrading a local nickel refinery to produce battery grade lithium or alternatively build a new lithium carbonate plant at a cost of up to $150-million, its managing director said on Monday.

Lithium is in demand globally as a battery metal needed for the shift to electric vehicles and renewable power and Zimbabwe has said it has the potential to supply 20% of the world's lithium.

Zimbabwe is one of the top ten lithium producers but currently produces only a fraction of the worldwide total.

John McTaggart, Kamativi Tailings Company managing director, told parliament his company is negotiating with Zimbabwean-listed miner RioZim to upgrade its Empress Nickel Refinery, which is 120 km (75 miles) west of the capital so it can produce lithium carbonate.

But if this failed, Kamativi could look at setting up a lithium carbonate plant in Zimbabwe at a cost of $100-million to $150-million, McTaggart said.

Kamativi is a 60:40 venture between privately-owned Jimbala and state mining firm Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation that is processing a tailings dump in western Zimbabwe.

The tailings dump accumulated between 1936 and 1994 during the mining and processing of tin-bearing minerals.

"We believe we have the volume of concentrate in-country to warrant a lithium carbonate plant. Africa certainly needs one with the electric vehicle revolution that's taking place," said McTaggart.

McTaggart would not provide more details when later contacted for comment by Reuters.

McTaggart said a concentrator that will produce up to 19 000 tonnes of concentrate of lithium-bearing spodumene should be completed by December at a cost of $25 million.

Canadian-listed Chimata Cold Corp has a right to buy into Kamativi if it raises the money, McTaggart said.

Zimbabwe Mines Minister Winston Chitando said in February the southern African nation would generate revenue of $1.4-billion over eight years from the Kamativi lithium project. McTaggart, however, said the figure was purely speculative

Edited by Reuters


Latest Multimedia

Resources Watch
Resources Watch
21st February 2024

Latest News

Rio Tinto CEO Jakob Stausholm
Rio Tinto posts lower FY profit
21st February 2024 By: Mariaan Webb


Condra Cranes
Condra Cranes

ISO-certified Condra manufactures overhead cranes, portal cranes, cantilever cranes and crane components: hoists, drives, end-carriages, brakes and...

VEGA Controls SA (Pty) Ltd
VEGA Controls SA (Pty) Ltd

For over 60 years, VEGA has provided industry-leading products for the measurement of level, density, weight and pressure. As the inventor of the...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Photo of Martin Creamer
On-The-Air (16/02/2024)
16th February 2024 By: Martin Creamer

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.137 0.17s - 90pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now