Lithium company Bikita Sinomine has begun construction of a $22 million power line stretching 120km from Tokwe to Bikita in Masvingo Province. The power line will supply electricity to Bikita Sinomine’s lithium mine and also electrify Bikita, Gutu, and Zaka communities and business centres.
The company has allocated $2 million for the electrification of these rural areas. According to mine manager, David Mwanza, the power line will ensure a reliable power supply for Bikita Sinomine’s mining and processing operations and provide electricity to surrounding communities, he said.
This US$22 million project will guarantee us adequate and reliable power for our operations while at the same time providing electricity to communities. We have set aside US$2 million for the rural electrification programme.
Mr Mwanza said Bikita Sinomine has invested $200 million in Spodumene and Pestilent Plants, both requiring constant power supply. Work on the 120km power line from Tokwe to Bikita began three weeks ago and is expected to be completed by December. The company aims to achieve $750 million in annual revenue this year, depending on the completion of the new plants in June and July.
According to finance manager Mr Amanda Makausi, Bikita Sinomine is projected to reach an annual revenue of $1 billion by 2024. The Chinese investor Sinomine’s $300 million takeover of Bikita Minerals has resulted in rapid growth, increasing production from 3 000 tonnes to 10 000 tonnes per month since February 2022.
The new plants are expected to triple production to 30 000 tonnes per month once commissioned. The increased production has also significantly increased the mine’s contribution to the fiscus, with Bikita Sinomine now being one of the biggest tax contributors in Masvingo province. The company pays $150 000 monthly in employment tax, $3 million monthly in other taxes, and mining royalties.
Bikita Sinomine’s rapid expansion has reportedly resulted in the creation of 660 jobs, with an additional 1 400 expected after the completion of the Petalite and Spodumene plants. The company is also said to be offering competitive salaries to workers along with a monthly production bonus, which is 50% of their net salary. – (Pindula)