SINOMINE Group is set to generate US$500 million in exports from the two recently commissioned plants at Bikita Minerals.
China’s Sinomine Resource Group, referred to as China Mineral Resources, last year tabled plans to invest around US$300 million to build a lithium plant and expand existing operations at the Bikita Minerals lithium mine in Zimbabwe.
The mine has been in operation since 1950 and was recently acquired by Sinomine for US$180 million.
The Bikita mine predominantly produced petalite, a lithium mineral that is used in the ceramic and glass industries but the new investment allowed the mine to produce Spodumene – a key battery mineral.
In an update this week, Sinomine announced it had successfully completed and officially commenced trial productions on the new Gravity Separation Plant Petalite and Flotation Plant Spodumene.
The Gravity Separation plant with an annual capacity of two million tons was initiated by the company through its own funds and raised capital, with construction work starting in 2022 based on the existing beneficiation plant at the Bikita mine.
“The plant has processing capacity of 220 tph , average product grade is 3,% and is expected to produce 480 000 tons of petalite annually.
“Once the Bikita Minerals Lithium expansion project reaches its production capacity of 2 million tons, it is expected to produce 300 000 tons of high-quality chemical grade Spodumene concentrate annually,” the company said.
Commencement of the beneficiation production lines will further enhance the company’s lithium concentrate supply capability and future business performance.
“The new plants will create 1 000 jobs and the company projects to generate US$500 million from exports in 2023,” the company added. – (New Zimbabwe)