Zimbabwe’s mining minister says lithium biggest draw – by Barbara Lewis (Reuters Africa – February 6, 2018)


CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Zimbabwe has the potential to be a leading producer of lithium, which has so far attracted more interest than any other of its minerals, Zimbabwe’s new Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando said on Tuesday.

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.

Chitando took office after Emmerson Mnangagwa became president in November 2017 when the military took charge and Robert Mugabe resigned after 37 years in office.

To lure foreign investment into a mining sector that he says is under-capitalised and under-explored, Chitando has announced changes to mining laws, limiting indigenisation rules that mandate majority ownership for the state to just diamonds and platinum.

“Most of the enquiries have been about lithium,” he said on the sidelines of a mining conference in Cape Town. He added he could not give details of the deal signed last week until an official stock market announcement was made.

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