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Lithium, battery exports rake in US$209m for Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
02 Nov 2023 at 05:42hrs | Views
The Lithium and Battery Minerals sector has been a significant contributor to Zimbabwe's economy, generating US$209 million in export receipts in the first nine months of the year, according to Mines and Mining Development Minister Zhemu Soda. Zimbabwe possesses one of Africa's largest lithium deposits and is ranked fifth globally, positioning the country to benefit from the growing demand for lithium-ion batteries as the world transitions to electric vehicles and renewable energy.

Minister Soda addressed the inaugural Lithium and Battery Minerals Conference, emphasizing the rising global demand for lithium due to the growth of green energy industries, particularly in electric vehicles and energy storage. He noted the substantial growth in lithium exports, increasing from US$1.8 million in 2018 to US$70 million in 2022, with US$209 million in exports recorded by September 2023.

The conference aimed to explore opportunities and challenges for sustainable development in the lithium and battery mineral industry. Minister Soda stressed the role of lithium and battery minerals, such as tantalum, graphite, nickel, manganese, and tin, in contributing to Zimbabwe's economic growth and its goal to become an upper middle-income economy by 2030, as outlined in Vision 2030.

Zimbabwe's abundant lithium deposits present significant opportunities for investors, both local and foreign. Minister Soda encouraged exploration and the discovery of new battery mineral deposits, highlighting the long-term investments in the sector. He emphasized the potential for Zimbabwean communities to benefit from sustainable mineral exploration through employment creation, economic diversification, and technology transfer.

The government has implemented policies to regulate the mining of lithium and other battery minerals, including a ban on the export of raw base mineral ores to promote value addition and beneficiation. These measures align with National Development Strategy 1 (NDS 1) and Vision 2030 objectives, aiming to boost employment, revenue, and economic growth while reducing the trade imbalance.

Source - The Herald