Huayou Cobalt to complete US$300 million lithium plant by year end

25 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
Huayou Cobalt to complete US$300 million lithium plant by year end Inside a car’s lithium battery pack.

eBusiness Weekly

Business Writer

Huayou Cobalt, a world conglomerate based in China, say construction of US$300 million processing plant at the Arcadia Lithium Mine near Harare has started with the facility expected to be complete by year –end.

The firm say this period is ahead of commissioning in the first quarter of 2023.

Huayou officially announced the acquisition of 87 percent shareholding in the Arcadia Lithium Project from Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe (PLZ) last month.

PLZ deputy general manager, Trevor Barnard, told journalists during a media tour of the mine site on Monday that the lithium processing plant will have an installed capacity of 4, 5 million tonnes of ore annually.

“Huayou Cobalt took over the Arcadia Lithium project officially on the 20th of April this year and since then, we have made remarkable progress to start with construction of the plant on this site.

“We obviously got all of the commissions we need to get to proceed with the construction and the plan is for us to complete the construction by the end of this year.

“And in the first quarter of next year, we will start with the commissioning and production of lithium concentrate from this site,” he said.

“The project in its entirety will amount to around US$300 million, it could be more or less but that’s the figure we have estimated at this stage of the project.”

The proposed plant, which has already been designed and procured from China will comprise the areas that include ore section, crushing section, and the spodumene section.

“The plan is to establish this processing plant with a capacity of around 4,5 million tonnes per annum which is a massive amount of ore that they will throughput and produce approximately around 400 000 tonnes of lithium concentrate every year.”

The mine’s lifespan is expected at between 10 and 15 years but with further geological developments, the lithium operation’s life is projected to be higher.

Huayou Cobalt was established in 2002 and is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

With a market capitalisation of around US$20 billion, Huayou Cobalt is a leading supplier of lithium carbonate as well as cobalt materials to the lithium-ion battery industry.

“The funding of this project will be done from Huayou Cobalt on internal resources and it will be done and it’s all been approved by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and we have our investment licence from ZIDA (Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency),” said Barnard.

The lithium project was granted a National Project Status by the Government a few years ago.

A national project status is often granted to investments that require huge capital cost with a large portion of this being equipment and services not available in Zimbabwe.

Lithium is a strategic importance of Zimbabwe’s economy and forms a crucial element of the Second Republic’s target to build a US$12 billion mining industry by next year.


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