MASVINGO – President Mnangagwa has commissioned Sinomine Bikita Minerals’ Spodumene and Palatine processing plant which will add more value to lithium ore in line with the thrust worldwide of adding value to minerals.
Spodumene from Bikita Minerals is a key mineral used in the ceramic industry, manufacture of mobile phones, laptops, digital cameras and automotive batteries.
The mining industry for a long time had been challenged to add value to all the minerals from the country and the President applauded Sinomine Bikita Minerals for taking it upon themselves and add value to the lithium they are taking from the country.
President Mnangagwa challenged all key players in business and mining industry in particular to undertake their operations with the highest ethical standards, professionalism, honesty and integrity.
“Corruption of any kind, will never be condoned by my Government and the law will apply without fear or favour”, said President Mnangagwa.
He went on to applaud Bikita Minerals for setting aside US$10 million towards the construction of a new bridge that will complement the existing Birchenough Bridge as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility projects.
“I congratulate Bikita Minerals and the Sinomine Resource Group for these noble and high impact projects which includes setting aside US$10 million towards the construction of a new bridge that will complement the existing Birchenough Bridge as part of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility projects and construction of US$22 million power line which is expected to be commissioned during the first quarter of 2024 and an additional of US$2 million has been set aside for rural electrification programme covering Bikita, Gutu and Zaka Districts”.
In Bikita the President was accompanied by Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga and the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Soda Zhemu and Sinomine Resources Group chairman Wang Ping Wei.
Wei also told the guests that apart from expanding the mining plant they have gone further in creating more than 800 jobs, build schools and health facilities as part of their social corporate responsibility which goes inline with the government’s vision.
The Chinese miner invested US$200 million to expand existing operations at Bikita, including the construction of two lithium processing plants to produce 250,000 tonnes of spodumene concentrate and 480,000 tonnes of petalite per year.
Zhemu also commented the development at Sinomine Bikita Minerals which is going to contribute to the national GDP .
Ezra Chadzamira the Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs and Devolution also applauded Bikita Minerals for increasing production at the mine and engaging in CSR programs for the benefit of locals.
“We are very grateful as a province for benefiting from such developments and I believe all the communities that are surrounding this mine have benefited a lot from this development and we are determined to pursue the projects so that we add value and contribute to the national GDP”, said Chadzamira.
China’s Sinomine Resource Group took over Bikita Minerals in a US$180 million deal last year.