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Kuvimba Embarks On Massive 200M Tonne Lithium Project In Mberengwa

Diversified mining group Kuvimba Mining House has embarked on a massive exploration project on its Sandawana mining lease in the Mberengwa area, south of Zimbabwe with a projected resource deposit of 200 million tonnes.

An investment of US$ 50 million was injected into this project to determine total lithium resources and associated minerals.

The exploration started in January this year with the first phase already tilting tail-end with 20 million tonnes of lithium ore already realized.

“We have mapped the whole lease at Sandawana measuring 3880 hectares that has been mapped geologically. We have also done the electromagnetic survey,” Brighton Bumhira, the Exploration Manager, told the media during a tour of the area.

“For phase one, 77 000 meters has already been drilled and we have some meters that are outside our phase 1 drilling. We have done extensive drilling and we are left with around 15 000 to complete the first phase. Actually we have 20 million tonnes of measured resource, 2 million tonnes of indicated resource and 7 million tonnes of inferred resource. In terms of deposit, we are looking at up to 200 million tonnes of ore.”

Once phase one is done, the second phase which is expected to commence next month will have an additional 30 million tonnes. Phases three and four are expected to reach 200 million tonnes which will effectively make this project the country’s flagship mining project.

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Furthermore, this makes Sandawana the biggest lithium project in the African region.

Kuvimba will set up a US$4.5 million beneficiation plant expected to be complete in the next 12-18 months and ensure that the minerals will be value-added thereby increasing employment and earnings.

So far the group has a stockpile of 600 000 tonnes of lithium ore valued at US$216 million which should see its first sale done before year-end.

“When we are done, we are looking at annual turnover of US$ 4.5 billion from Sandawana. Government will realize 300 million in royalties,” said General Manager, Godwin Gambiza.

“We are not going to be mining one mineral but associated minerals as well.”

Lithium has seen a tremendous demand in recent years mainly driven by growing adoption of electric vehicles which rely on lithium as a key component of EV batteries.

According to the International Energy Agency between 2017 and 2022 demand for lithium tripled in overall demand and in 2022 alone, ccompanies specializing in lithium development recorded a 50 percent increase in spending.

Sandawana Mine was originally an emerald mining operation was shut down in 2010 due to capital constraints. It was until Kuvimba acquired it in 2019 which saw its reopening and initial studies pointing to massive lithium deposits. According to studies so far, the mine has a life span of 25 years.

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