The government of Zimbabwe has announced that it is going to extract up to seven types of minerals from the Kamativi tin mine after geologists confirmed a rich mix of deposits at the site.
Walter Chidhakwa, the country’s mines and mining development minister, said that the disused mine would re-open very soon, with new operations focusing more on lithium extraction. As it is pointed out, lithium is one of the world’s highly demanded metals as it supports the automobile manufacturing industry. Aside from tin and lithium, other minerals that are said to be exploited at the site are tantalite, copper, beryl, limestone, and beryllium.
Commenting on the project, Chidhakwa said:
“We want to take advantage of the mix of minerals at Kamativi, which was never considered long back. We can economically mine seven minerals at Kamativi according to data gathered by geologists. They will now design a metallurgical process that will be able to separate tantalite from tin from lithium and so forth. We are probably going to be more of a lithium mine than a tin mine because lithium is going to be bigger than anything you have ever seen in this world.
“It’s (lithium) now turned into an energy mineral and the sales production of sales in motor vehicles we are moving very rapidly into vehicles that are power driven and so lithium is becoming very strategic.”
Before the actual production starts, the government has been working with the Chinese firm, Beijing Ping Chang, for the geological work needed to identify the mineral deposits at the site. According to Chidhakwa, the government is dedicated to revive the Kamativi mine, which has a great potential to help the country’s economy.
Apart from the Kamativi mine, deposits of lithium have also been discovered in the areas of Bikita and Harare.