Bikita Minerals, Zimbabwe’s premier lithium mine with a rich 60-year history, abruptly suspended its operations. The mine, which is under Chinese ownership, announced the halt on Monday, citing “administrative concerns” raised by the authorities as the reason behind the unexpected move.
Bikita Minerals, estimated to hold a staggering 11 million metric tons of lithium resources, has been a key player in the country’s lithium industry. The sudden suspension has left industry experts and locals puzzled, sparking intense speculation about the nature of these “administrative concerns.”
According to David Mwanza, the Mine Manager at Bikita Minerals, all operations will remain on hold for a seven-day period while the mine diligently works to address the raised concerns. Mwanza emphasized that the mine will resume its operations promptly once these issues have been satisfactorily resolved.
During this hiatus, only employees in the care and maintenance departments, as well as those involved in essential services, are required to report to work.
Days before the sudden suspension, 17 suspects in Masvingo were arrested for the illegal possession of lithium, suspected to have been stolen from Bikita Minerals. The connection between these arrests and the mine’s current predicament remains uncertain.
It is also worth noting that the Zimbabwean government imposed a strict ban on the export of unprocessed lithium earlier this year, aiming to retain more of the mineral’s value within the country. Could these regulatory changes have triggered a chain of events leading to the mine’s suspension?
As this developing story unfolds, stay tuned to Ya FM radio and our social media platforms for the latest updates on the Bikita Minerals operations suspension issue.