President Emmerson Mnangagwa has described lithium as the new oil and has set a US$10-billion revenue target while promising jobs through the mineral’s value addition.
Mnangagwa said Zimbabwe is lucky to have vast lithium deposits.
Giving updates in a recently created WhatsApp group for Glen View South, Mnangagwa revealed that income generated from lithium value addition and beneficiation will likely surpass foreign currency realised through tobacco and gold combined.
“Lithium is the new oil with more cars in the future expected to use lithium batteries for mobility. Zimbabwe is very lucky because we have vast deposits of lithium which are easy and cheap to explore,” he said.
According to Mnangagwa, just as oil was used to develop the Middle East, Zimbabwe will use its vast deposits of lithium to achieve the same feet.
“Middle East got rich with oil and Zimbabwe will too get rich with lithium.
“Government is expecting Zimbabwe to get at least 10 billion dollars every year as the country is expected to get more money from lithium than gold and tobacco combined,” he added.
According to the President production and processing of lithium will create the much needed jobs.
“Some of the lithium batteries will be produced locally and this in turn will create lobs,” he said.
Lithium is among minerals expected to contribute to Zimbabwe’s target to grow the mining sector to US$12 billion in 2023.
Zimbabwe is the world’s fifth largest lithium producer whose lithium output has increased steadily in recent years, producing 1 200 metric tonnes of the battery metal in 2021.
Recently the government through the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development banned the export of any mineral ore containing lithium.
In a Statutory Instrument (SI) 213 of 2022, Mines and Mining minister Winston Chitando said lithium bearing ore will only be exported with the government’s permission.