Home News Gvt Declares War On Illegal Lithium Storage

Gvt Declares War On Illegal Lithium Storage

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The government has declared the storage of lithium ores outside mines and approved processing plants illegal, and any breaches of the law will result in legal action being taken against the mining companies responsible.

Addressing delegates at the Chamber of Mines Annual Conference today in Victoria Falls the Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando clarified the dictates of the Mines and Minerals Act and some statutory instruments saying mining companies must ensure that they have the necessary permits and licenses before mining and storing lithium.

“As things stand the regulations of the law which is the Mines and Minerals Act in combination with the various Statutory Instruments provides as far as lithium is concerned, five things , the first, the mining of lithium, the second the processing of lithium , the third the storage of lithium , the fourth , the transportation of lithium, the fifth the export of value added lithium and the export of non-value added lithium.

“The law says anyone who has a lithium mining concession, you can mine lithium, anyone can mine , that’s the first thing. The second is for you to process lithium ores, you require an  approved  processing plant license which you get through the Ministry of Mines.

“The third, if you have a mining concession and have mined ores, those ores you either utilize them for processing at your approved processing plant or you can only transport them. The ore movement permit will only be given if the ore is being moved to someone with an approved processing plant license .

“Lithium ores can only be stored at the site where the lithium is mined or at an approved processing plant site. So the storage of ores in Msasa, in Southerton is now illegal and is subject to penalties stipulated in the statutory instrument”, he said.

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In addition to this the Minister has clarified that in order to export lithium , there must be a minimum of 3% spodumene , 2.5% petalite and pedolite . Exporter prices should also be a minimum of what is provided for by the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ ).

“For exportation of value added lithium it has to satisfy two conditions .The first condition is that the lithium content for spodumene should be a minimum of 3% and the lithium content for petalite and pedolite should be a minimum of 2.5% . That’s the first condition for the exportation of value added lithium.

“The second condition is that the prices at which exporter charges should be a minimum of what is provided for by the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) . For one to get an approved processing license its simple. You have to satisfy the ministry that the setup and investment you have can manage the minimum threshold of the 3% lithium content for spodumene and the 2,5% petalite and pedolite “

 

“However if for a wholly owned Zimbabwe entity, once you have been granted an approved processing plant license , site license , you can apply for a waiver to export lithium ores up to  a maximum period of 2 years . So for wholly owned Zimbabwean entities once you have demonstrated that you would want to setup an approved processing plant site and you get that license and you are working towards that, you can then be given  a waiver to export ores per maximum period of 2 years. During  the time we expect that you have built up your approved processing plant license”, he added.

Government’s decision to regulate the storage of lithium ores is part of its effort to ensure sustainable development of the mining industry in the country.

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