25 May 2022
Global battery manufacturer Huayou Cobalt is investing $300 million into Zimbabwe’s Arcadia Lithium Mine and the construction of a processing plant to produce 400,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate each year.
“We intend to develop the project rapidly over the next year and invest US$300 million to develop the mine and construct a process plant with a capacity to treat around 4,5 million tonnes of ore and produce 400 000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum,” according to a Huayou statement.
The company has paid $378 million to gain majority control of the operation, says a NewsDay report.
“This will be a shot in the arm for Zimbabwe’s economy, and contribute towards achieving the National Development Strategy 1 set out by the government. At least 600 locals are to be employed during the construction phase with figures rising to between 700 and 900 when production goes into full gear. The majority of these will go to local people,” said the executive statement ahead of a tour of Arcadia Mine on Tuesday.
Huayou said it was “super excited” to be in Zimbabwe where it had reached the “biggest” lithium deal. The firm is planning to boost Zimbabwe’s position as a global electric vehicle production hub.
Research first started into Arcadia Mine in July 2021, followed by a feasibility study. Subsequently, a bidding process was initiated by Prospect Resources and a deal was reached in December. Huayou then arrived “to facilitate transaction of the deal” in April.
“The transaction, being the culmination of years of effort of progressing and developing the Arcadia Project to this point is a testament to the skills and expertise of the Prospect team, who are now firmly focused on the path ahead, to build the next iteration of Prospect, a developer of lithium and battery and electrification metals projects,” said Prospect managing director and CEO, Sam Hosack.