Home News Don’t Operate In Silos! Lithium Miners Told

Don’t Operate In Silos! Lithium Miners Told

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Government has called on mining companies to work together and warned against operating in silos as it focuses on driving industry growth and accelerating the US$12 billion mining target.

Speaking at the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe Annual Conference yesterday in Victoria Falls, the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando encouraged closer collaboration among lithium mining companies to establish processing facilities which would enable the production of high value lithium products and position Zimbabwe as a key player in the global lithium market.

 “The lithium players in this country, you have to work together more closely than you are today. As things stand, we do have to some extend, I could say, plans by individual companies to establish value addition of lithium concentrates. As government, once we have an entity which can value add beyond a lithium concentrate and go a stage higher, two things will happen.

“The extreme case will be to ban the export of  lithium concentrate which won’t happen but we impose a leash to say if there is an entity which can give value addition of the lithium concentrate,  why can’t you do it, send it to them for processing  then you come and say no they don’t have space for me , they have only established space for themselves , so they don’t have the capacity to process our stuff well, the answer is too bad.

“So   it is important that as the lithium players you get together, those who are establishing plants for value addition to the next stage you work together. In lithium, if every player wants to do value addition, you want to take lithium concentrate to the next stage, that’s fine by us as Government.

“The addressed lithium plans coming from a number of investors to increase capacity enhance the hunger for us to ensure realisation of the President’s vision for Zimbabwe to be a significant player in the extraction of lithium,” he said.  

The minister also urged platinum mining companies to collaborate efforts pointing out that the miners indicated their commitment to value addition, and as a result the government withdrew the imposition of an export tax on un-beneficiated platinum.

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“Few years back, government came up and said platinum concentrates with effect from this date, they will be subject to a surcharge of so much because they are not being value added. That is still there at the legislation.

“The platinum players got together and said government please hold on, we are serious about value addition, we will come up with a study to ensure that we achieve the goal which you have for value addition.

“For sure they did. The symposium about three years ago was the platinum symposium where the platinum producers were unpacking their plans to have established a base metal refinery, as a result government withdrew the export tax for unbeneficiated platinum which had been imposed.

“Obviously the intention of what the government want to see is moving up the whole value chain. What is important is for us to work together with industry to ensure that  you achieve your goals but also as government we achieve our goals for value addition. You don’t have to continue to work in silos.” he said.

The withdrawal of export tax for un-beneficiated platinum which was imposed to encourage value addition is a move that has been welcomed by the mining industry and is seen as  a positive step towards encouraging value addition in the platinum sector.

Under the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development’s vision of attaining a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, gold is expected to contribute US$4 billion, platinum US$3 billion; chrome, iron and steel US$1 billion, diamonds US$1 billion, coal US$1 billion, lithium US$500 million and other minerals US$1,5 billion.

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