President Emmerson Mnangagwa has said the country has to do more than ban the export of lithium and other ores.
In December last year, Zimbabwe banned the export of raw lithium in an effort to promote value addition and beneficiation of the mineral, Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said at the time.
Writing in his column in The Sunday Mail, Mnangagwa said the country should now focus on research and development towards transforming ores into domestic semi-and finished products. He wrote:
It is not enough to ban raw mineral ores; we must begin to apply ourselves towards building industrial processes and structures, which transform those ores into semi-finished to finished products here at home.
My call to all Zimbabweans, both at home and abroad, is for us to develop a new consciousness which is oriented towards a new socio-economy in which transformational processes are domesticated to become resident in our country.
We can no longer be happy to circumvent national markets we create for our minerals, in favour of foreign ones where we are duped and where value is lost or traded cheaply.
We need a new nationalism that contests net national value loss through the un-strategic exportation of our non-renewables.
… The time, too, has come to use our comparative advantage as sources of finite raw materials to cause global capital to relocate to where the resource exists, namely in our country and on our continent.
That way, even skills we lost to the developed world will return home to complement those we build through our own efforts.
Lithium is used to make energy-dense rechargeable batteries for electronics, such as laptops, cell phones, electric vehicles and grid storage.
Lithium deposits have been identified in Mashonaland East, Masvingo, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South provinces. – (Pindula)