A local mining company, Jambata (Pvt) Limited has started operations at Kamativi Mine following an agreement signed with the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) on the 2nd of last month.

The project will be funded by a Canadian listed public company to the tune of $33 million and will see the extraction of spodumene, which will be converted into lithium.

Jambata (Pvt) Limited Managing Director, Mr John McTageart revealed this to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy which was on a tour to establish the situation at the mine.

Between March and April, the investors will be drilling the dump to establish the quantities of lithium which are estimated to be in the region of 23 million tonnes.

The drills will also determine the grades for all the minerals found at the mine.

According to Mr McTageart, a 200 tonne per hour machinery will be used to extract spodumene and enable the company to export small quantities of lithium for export by the end of the year.

“We will be installing a 400 tonne per hour plant that will produce 19000 tonnes of spodumene per month, and that is where our investment of $33 million will come in. The first phase will cost $5 million and the second phase $23 million,” he said.

Jambata (Pvt) Limited is also looking at the beneficiation of spodumene in the country, a project which will see the refurbishment of a local refinery.

Between this year and 2019, bank feasibility studies and test works on the refinery will be carried out to see if spodumene can be converted into lithium.

The price of spodumene is currently pegged at $900 per tonne.