Zimbabwe sets time limit for lithium miners to submit beneficiation plans

A track loader driver goes about his work at Shamva Gold Mine in Mashonaland Central, Zimbabwe, Nov 18, 2020. [Xinhua]

The Zimbabwean government requires lithium miners to submit beneficiation plans no later than March 2024, in a move aimed at boosting revenue from the processed mineral.

Presenting the 2024 national budget on Thursday, Economic Development and Investment Promotion Minister Mthuli Ncube said no licenses will be granted to a prospective lithium company without the approval of a beneficiation plan.

"Any lithium value addition process that does not result in the production of lithium carbonate is not regarded as beneficiation, hence, is liable to an export tax," said Ncube.

Zimbabwe has the largest lithium reserves in Africa and due to growing global demand for the mineral, the country has witnessed huge investments into the lithium sector in recent years.

Last December, the Zimbabwean government banned the export of raw lithium to encourage investment in local processing facilities. It also approved a lithium ore policy to consolidate the country's beneficiation strategy.

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