Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe – an arm of Chinese company Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt – has commissioned a $300 million lithium processing plant in Zimbabwe. Located in the Goromonzi District in Mashonaland East Province, the plant will process 4.5 million metric tons per year of hard rock lithium into concentrate for export, introducing new supplies to global markets at a time when demand continues to skyrocket. The plant began initial processing in April 2023, and according to Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe Chairperson George Fang, “since then, we have exported close to 30,000 tons.
This equates to $40 million in revenue generation in Zimbabwe. As we push ourselves to increase production and processing capacity by close to 90%, this will translate into more funds coming into the country.”
Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe’s General Manager Trevor Barnard explained that the company aims to process up to 450,000 tons of concentrate annually, which will be further processed into battery-grade lithium outside of the country.
Strategically located in close proximity to the 26.9-million-ton Arcadia open-pit lithium mine, the processing plant falls under efforts by the Zimbabwean Government to position the country as a lithium hub, and follows a national ban of unprocessed lithium exports last year.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa – speaking during the commissioning ceremony – described lithium to be “the mineral of the present and the future…and value addition will position our country as an emerging and competitive player in the global lithium value chain.”