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    Monday, October 2, 2023

    Zimbabwe – Dubbed “the World’s Next Lithium Valley” – to Speak at Critical Minerals Africa 2023

    Rising demand for lithium-ion batteries, significant Chinese investment and the launch of several greenfield projects have reignited Zimbabwe’s mining industry, which will be on display at the upcoming Critical Minerals Africa 2023 summit.

    As Zimbabwe sets its sights on achieving a $12-billion mining industry by year-end, Pfungwa Kunaka, Permanent Secretary for Mines and Mining Development of Zimbabwe, will speak on the country’s latest project commissionings in exploration, extraction and refining at the Critical Minerals Africa (CMA) 2023 summit next month.

    Comprising 13% of GDP, Zimbabwe’s mining industry is diverse and world-class, boasting over 60 mineral commodities and the second-largest reserves of platinum group metals (PGMs) globally. While PGMs are expected to continue to dominate the sector – with three new projects under development at the Darwendale, Karo and Mupani prospects – significant growth is anticipated in diamond, coal and chrome mining, along with gold production that is projected to double by 2025.

    Aligning with the global transition to cleaner energy, Zimbabwe is also home to a nascent lithium mining market and the largest lithium reserves in Africa. Last July, a Chinese mining company commissioned a $300-million lithium processing plant with the capacity to produce 4.5 million metric tons for export per year. Having banned the export of raw lithium earlier this year, the Zimbabwean Government is seeking to drive downstream infrastructure development and become a regional processing hub for lithium-ion batteries and other climate-friendly power sources.

    Another critical downstream development is the one-billion-dollar Manhize integrated steel plant, which will produce 1.2 million tonnes of steel per year once operational. Set to be the largest integrated steel plant on the continent, the project has already attracted the attention of local and regional off-takers, with a view to lowering costs of production in-country by reducing steel and iron imports, while meeting demand in neighboring markets like Zambia and the DRC.

    To facilitate investment into its critical minerals sector, Zimbabwe’s government has announced plans to deploy new incentives for established mining producers, as well as formalize small-scale mining operations, promote SMEs and encourage local production of mining consumables. These developments and more will be on display at CMA 2023, as the country continues to position itself as a central component of the global minerals value chain.  

    The Critical Minerals Africa 2023 summit on October 17-19 serves to position Africa as the primary investment destination for critical minerals. The event is organized by Energy Capital & Power and is held alongside the African Energy Week 2023 conference (https://AECWeek.com/) on October 16-20, offering delegates access to the full scope of energy, mining and finance leaders in Cape Town. Sponsors, exhibitors and delegates can learn more by contacting sales@energycapitalpower.com.

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