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Zimbabwe Lithium Miners Table Refinery Plans Under Govt Pressure

Zimbabwe China Lithium
Zimbabwe China Lithium

HARARE (Reuters) - Four lithium mining companies have tabled plans to produce battery-grade lithium in Zimbabwe, a government official said on Monday.

Zimbabwe, Africa's top producer of lithium, which is used in electric vehicle batteries and to store renewable energy, is prodding miners to refine the mineral locally as it hopes to boost its economy.

Currently, Chinese lithium miners, who dominate the sector in Zimbabwe, only produce lithium concentrates which they ship to China for further processing.

Last November, Zimbabwe's finance minister Mthuli Ncube said the government had given miners up to March 2024 to submit plans on refining within the country.

The government had extended the deadline by two months at the request of some miners, deputy mines minister Polite Kambamura told Reuters.

"They are coming forward with plans but these are long term plans which we are receiving. We have four large scale producers who have come forward," Kambamura said