By Stanley James, Business Editor
Zimbabwe’s thrust to ensure growth in lithium mining is on track with Prospect Resources of Australia shareholders approving the sale of Arcadia Lithium Mine to China’s Huayou International to facilitate full scale operations.
Just two months after the signing of an agreement between old and new owners, shareholders have also endorsed the transaction as confirmed by outcome of an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held recently.
In terms of the arrangement, the Chinese company will now pay over US$420 million to assume full ownership of the Goromonzi-based lithium mine.
Contacted for comment, Prospect Resources Executive Director Paul Chimbodza gave the finer details of the transaction.
“The meeting was held on Friday and that is when the entire details of the deal were eventually approved. So, it is another timeline that has been completed and we now await for the next as we seek to conclude everything in the next few months,” he said.
Mr Chimbodza also outlined the timelines of the transactions.
“The Chinese company, which is in the battery manufacturing value chain, is therefore being anticipated to get full ownership in the next few months.”
The Chinese entity recently announced that it secured relevant regulatory approvals from its government to fulfil terms of the payments.
Lithium mining in Zimbabwe is also being anticipated to play an important role in the achievement of a US$12 billion mining economy by next year.
Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt, which is listed on the Shangai Stock Exchange, is also expected to play a critical role in the production of lithium in Zimbabwe.
The Chamber of Mines notes that with one of the largest lithium reserves, Zimbabwe is also expected to become a hub for research, development, exploitation and manufacturing of green energy and lithium based solutions.
Full scale operations at the mine are therefore expected to start in a few months once all the regulatory requirements are concluded.