Sabi Star lithium plant ’80 percent complete’

By Business Writer

Chinese-owned Sabi Star Mine says preparations for the commissioning of its multi-million-dollar plant, which is nearing competition are at an advanced stage.

Chengxin, listed on the Shenzhen stock exchange, spent US$76.5 million last September to buy 51% of MaxMind, which held claims in Buhera.

According to a report in the local Newsday, commissioning of the plant will be done in May.

“Commissioning of the whole plant is expected in the next month, it is currently at 80% completion. The declared resource lithium and tantalite ore will be mined via an open pit method and the lithium is recovered using the floatation method,” the company said.

The mine is expected to produce one million tonnes of raw ore, translating to 300 000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum.

Another Chinese lithium miner, Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe, is expected to be commissioned this year, and will have an output of 450 metric tonnes per annum.

Chinese companies have spent a reported US$600 million in the lithium sector over the past couple of years, and lead the pack of foreign investors scrambling for the “white gold”.

Australian and British companies have also dipped fingers in Zimbabwe’s large lithium pie, as the country is said to have a fifth of the world’s lithium reserves..

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