Lithium rush in Goromonzi

Phillipa Jaja

Illegal fortune hunters have descended in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East in search of lepidolite, a lithium bearing mineral.

The mineral is Lepidolite, a rare lithium-rich mica mineral that is usually pink, red, or purple in color.

In the past fortnight, crowds have swelled around a small area in ward 13, just south of the vast project being set up by Chinese giant Huayou Cobalt-owned Arcadia Lithium Mine.

And here, hopes for a better Christmas abound.

There are also hopes that the newly discovered rock could transform the predominantly mining area, which also has small scale gold mining.

The area in question is owned by Acturus Mining Company and has become a hub of various business activities for the villagers.

This reporter spoke to various people to gain insight into activities taking place at the site.

An artisanal miner from Harare who preferred anonymity for personal reasons said he was faring well.

“I heard about the rush in Harare and rushed here to seek my fortune. This is my third day here and the results are promising since one can make US$100 a day if they manage to get a tonne which is 10 wheelbarrows sold at US$10 each.”

Pearson Tauro, another artisanal miner said mining had enabled him to meet his accommodation expenses.

“This is a side hustle from my job as a guard at a local company. I came here so that I can get some easy money to complement my salary and also pay for rentals. It is very easy to make quick money as I started digging at 3 am in the morning and met the 1 tonne target at 9 am.”

Women have also found a place within the rush as evidenced by their huge numbers as artisanal miners.

Rose Chita, one of the women miners at the site said she was getting decent money.

“I am the breadwinner and coming here has enabled me to fend for my family. I also balance with farming although I am now dedicating most of my time here.”

Linda Hungwe, a vendor said her fortunes had greatly improved because of the mining activities.

“We were sitting at home, an impoverished lot. However, that has changed with my coming here. I started by mining and found it was labour intensive and I was not strong enough for it. Hence I switched over to catering. I cook food for the miners and the diet usually consists of sadza or rice and a variety of meats and it is very profitable. A plate goes for US$1. I am really glad that this lithium wonder happened in this area as it has uplifted us.”

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