Kamativi lithium exploration complete

Kamativi lithium exploration complete
Published: 11 June 2018
FULL lithium production at Kamativi Mine is expected to begin by June next year with investors saying exploration of the mineral at the defunct mine has been completed.

In March this year, Jimbata, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zimbabwe Lithium Company, commenced an evaluation exercise that entailed drilling holes to depths of 1 500 metres as well as sampling to determine the lithium resource in the tailings dumps at the disused mine.

Speaking by telephone, Jimbata managing director Mr John McTaggart said results of the samples would be made available in the next few weeks.

"The drilling has been completed and the samples are being exported as we speak to a certified laboratory in South Africa. They will take approximately four to six weeks to analyse those samples and then our consulting geology group called MSA will provide what is called a resource statement," he said.

"If the resource statement is positive, then we will go onto the next stage of the project, which is the implementation of concentrate plant and we will be in production by the middle of next year."

Mr McTaggart said their preliminary results of the samples were positive but his organisation was not allowed to make that decision as an independent consultant was supposed to make the pronouncement.

"As soon as the results are back we will be importing machinery and assembling it ahead of production by middle of next year," he said.

It is also hoped that results of the programme will be used for production of the NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Estimate for the Kamativi Tailings Project, being done under the supervision of the MSA Group.

In line with the Government's call for beneficiation of mineral resources, Jimbata is also looking at beneficiating spodumene to lithium carbonate in the next three years.

Mr McTaggart would not be drawn into revealing how much they were investing in procuring machinery which separates various minerals to be extracted from the Kamativi Tailings Dump. Before its closure in 1994 due to the depressed international price of tin, Kamativi Tin Mine was wholly-owned by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, which has since partnered Jimbata to revive operations at the mine. As Kamativi re-opens, lithium would be the major mineral to be extracted under the $1,4 billion project where tin will also be extracted from the tailings dump.

Lithium production is fast emerging as a potential game changer for Zimbabwe's mining industry and economy at large as foreign investors have shown commitment towards the exploitation of the mineral.

The mineral is an essential element in the production of batteries used in electric vehicles. Zimbabwe is endowed with vast lithium deposits but production is still lagging behind other global producers of the mineral, with only one company Bikita Resources, presently producing.

In April, an Australian-based mining concern, Prospect Resources, announced that it had set aside at least $25 million to fund the construction of a mine and plant at its Arcadia lithium project situated about 38 kilometres east of Harare.

The Government last year granted the company National Project Status to develop the Arcadia lithium project, which is the largest lithium deposit in Africa comprising 808 000 tonnes of lithium oxide.
- chronicle
Tags: Kamativi,


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