Munyaradzi Musiiwa Midlands Correspondent
GOVERNMENT and Chinese investor Beijing Pinchang, who had earlier expressed interest in reviving Kamativi Tin Mine, are engaged in discussions on whether to renegotiate the deal or terminate it.
In an interview on Saturday, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said Government was in negotiations with Beijing Pinchang to chart the way forward on the revival of the company.
Minister Chitando said one of the main objectives set by the new dispensation was to make the country a net exporter of lithium.
“On Kamativi, we are discussing with the investor who had earlier expressed interest,” he said.
“These discussions are going on with the objective of mapping the way forward on how to go about the revival of the company.
“We are yet to finalise on whether to proceed with the deal or terminate it. In the mean time, we have sealed a deal on the exploitation of the dumps at Kamativi.
“We expect the processing of the dump to start in the first quarter of the year.”
Jimbata, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zimbabwe Lithium Company, has since commenced an evaluation exercise to determine the lithium resource in the dumps at Kamativi Tin Mine.
The technical report on the dumps marked the completion of the major condition precedent prior to the signing of a definitive agreement between the Zimbabwe Lithium Company and its Canadian partner, Chimata Gold Corporation.
Minister Chitando said Government had come up with a strategy to ensure the country becomes a net exporter of lithium.
“We have Kamativi Mine, which will be mining lithium, we have Acadia, Acturus, Bikita and Prospect in Kwekwe,” he said.
“Prospect in Kwekwe is producing 99,5 percent of lithium carbonate.”
Lithium carbonate is an important industrial chemical. It forms low-melting fluxes with silica and other materials.
Glasses derived from lithium carbonate are useful in oven ware.
Lithium carbonate is a common ingredient in both low-fire and high-fire ceramic glaze.
Its alkaline properties are conducive to changing the state of metal oxide colourants in glaze, particularly red iron oxide.
Cement sets more rapidly when prepared with lithium carbonate, and is useful for tile adhesives. It is also used in the manufacture of most lithium-ion battery cathodes, which are made of lithium cobalt oxide.
Minister Chitando said Government had laid a very solid foundation towards making the country a middle-income economy by 2030. He said the mining sector will contribute significantly towards the growth of the economy and the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“President Mnangagwa has emphasised that the country should be a middle-income economy by 2030,” he said.
“Without any doubt, those who have been following developments will see that we are headed towards that direction.
“We have laid a very solid foundation towards the attainment of that objective.”