Zimbabwean and Chinese geologists exploring the possible revival of Kamativi Mine have found more lithium than tin, Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa has said.
The mine, wholly-owned by the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC), ceased operations in 1994 after the collapse of tin prices internationally.
At the time, the mine had reserves amounting to 100 million tonnes of tin ore. But Chidhakwa told a recent meeting in Hwange that government geologists and Chinese investor, Beijing Pinchang, have so far dug 800 wells which show more of lithium than tin.
“We have three geologists on our side and three from their (Beijing Pinchang) side. They went through data from 800 wells and now they want to drill 23 more to confirm their position,” said Chidhakwa.
“We can’t confirm which minerals are going to be mined now but what we have noticed is that the mine could be more of a lithium mine than tin because the former (lithium) is becoming very strategic especially in the motor industry. This means we will allow the process of drilling for one more month then we can look at designing equipment.”
This could result in more delays in reopening of the mine which has been closed for 22 years, he added.
Tin prices are currently at $19 700 per tonne while lithium is just over $9 000 per tonne.
Beijing Pinchang, once a subsidiary of China Railways, is set to inject $1 million for geological work out of a total investment of $100 million into the mine for a 49 percent stake in a joint venture with ZMDC. -The Source