Zimbabwe’s new Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando said the country has the potential to be a leading producer of lithium as it has attracted more interest than other minerals.
He said he had last week reached a deal with a small listed company, which was expected to generate revenue of $1.4 billion over eight years from a lithium project.
According to him, most of the enquiries on their resources has currently been about lithium.
However, it has been gathered that, the high demand of Lithium is as a result of the need for battery metal for electric vehicles and renewable power.
Although some analysts say the market could become oversupplied as the pipeline of projects builds up.
Chitando said, Zimbabwe will become a very significant producer of lithium.
He added that he was not worried about oversupply of “the mineral of the future”.
He said that in order for Zimbabwe to lure foreign investment into the mining sector some of which has been under-capitalised and under-explored, changes have been made to the mining laws.
This changes he said, limit indigenisation rules that mandate majority ownership for the state to just diamonds and platinum.
On the other hand, other minerals attracting interest are gold, as well as coal and coal-bed methane, which miners pursue as cheap sources of power, with the biggest problem for mining being the lack of capital.
Zimbabwe’s economy is currently suffering acute shortages of cash dollars, increases in prices of basic goods, high unemployment and low levels of foreign investment but President Mnangagwa last month promised to safeguard all investments in the country.
On its website, Zimbabwe’s mining ministry says the country has “huge mineral potential characterised by about 60 economic minerals whose commercial profitability has been proven”.
Apart from meeting investors in Cape Town, Chitando said Zimbabwe, will host a mining conference at the end of this month.