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Kuvimba bemoans unabated decline in prices of lithium, nickel

“Nickel price has decreased by over 58 percent over the last 6 to 12 months … so the administration and the management of Bindura Nickel are currently working to compile a business plan for the resuscitation of this operation.”

GOVERNMENT owned mining powerhouse, Kuvimba Mining Holdings (KMH) has bemoaned the continued decline of platinum group metals (PGM) price on the market indicating that their lithium and nickel side has been hugely affected.

KMH acting Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Barnard the mining entity prides itself for having one of the top lithium producers in the world, Sandawana Mines, but the market has been unfriendly.During the past year, the price of lithium has dropped by more than 80 percent while nickel has dropped by 58 percent.

To this end, KMH owned Bindura Nickel has been placed under reconstruction order while hopes are pinned on swift turnaround of market prices.“If you look at Sandawana Mines, it has been affected by fluctuating lithium prices.

“The lithium prices have also decreased significantly decreased from the end of 2022 to where we are today early 2024

“To give you just an idea, the price of lithium fell from US$80 000 per tonne, today it is sitting at just US$15 000 per tonne,” Barnard said.

He added, “Bindura Nickel Corporation has recently been placed under reconstruction order and the main reason for that is being influenced by a low nickel price.

“Nickel price has decreased by over 58 percent over the last 6 to 12 months … so the administration and the management of Bindura Nickel are currently working to compile a business plan for the resuscitation of this operation.”

Most companies across the continent have been affected by plummeting prices.

Some industry players have been forced to mothball their mines while workers continue to lose jobs.

Barnard, however, said the PGM industry is still bright considering the demand of the minerals which are key components in battery manufacturing.

“But still the lithium industry is very healthy and very good and we are currently looking at partnership to fund the development of Sandawana Mines and we are hoping to complete that in the near future. Then our focus will be beneficiation.

“Sandawana has the largest lithium deposit in Zimbabwe and once we have completed our exploration we believe that Sandawana will be amongst the top 10 lithium mines in the world.

Barnard added, “Nickel price has been influencing our operations but we believe that project has a bright future.

“Its still a very profitable business. We are busy negotiating with a number of founding partners and there are options to put the money onto operations on open cast basis to start off with, so that we will be able to shorten the timelines a lot but the first priority for us is to find the funding to put the mine into operation.”

Barnard said what counts in their favour is that Sandawana resource is a high grade hence has a low production cost

He said this means it would still be profitable under very low lithium prices.

“We hope the market will recover and will improve in the near future short term in the lithium market,” he said. – (Newsday)

 

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