• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Arcadia Mine on trial run

ByEconomic Times

Apr 25, 2023

By ETimes

Huayou Cobalt’s, Arcadia Lithium Mine, successfully produced the first batch of its products after it commenced trial production at its Goromonzi mine, nearly a year after the groundbreaking of the project.

This follows the successful equipment installation and commissioning of the mine, a major milestone for the project, which has been in development since construction began on 16 May 2022.

When fully operational, the Arcadia Lithium mine is expected to produce 50,000 tons of lithium carbonate per year, which would make it one of the largest lithium mines in Africa.

Huayou, one of the world’s biggest cobalt producers, acquired Arcadia from Australia-listed Prospect Resources and its Zimbabwean partners in a US$422 million deal completed in 2022. After the transaction, Huayou said it would spend US$300 million to build a plant to process 4.5 million tonnes of lithium ore at Arcadia.

Although critical for Zimbabwe’s economic growth, the Arcadia Lithium Mine project is a strategic project for Huayou Cobalt consistent with its “14th Five-Year Plan” period.

It is a calculated move by the Chinese company in creating an integrated industrial chain for new energy Li-ion battery materials.

This is a fundamental endeavor meant to ensure Huayou Cobalt’s lithium resource supply in the long run.

“The successful construction and trial production of the project meet Huayou’s strategic planning expectations and mark a milestone in its lithium resource development process.

“After multiple tests, all project participants are striving for excellence advancement and quality improvement, and have welcomed this milestone achievement of the project’s full production,” announced Huayou Cobalt in a statement.

The project is expected to further improve Huayou’s competitive strength and provide important support for its high-quality development mainly when the project achieves full production in the future.

Lithium is among the minerals expected to contribute to Zimbabwe’s target to grow the mining sector to US$12 billion in 2023.

Zimbabwe holds some of the largest mineral resources on the continent and the Arcadia Lithium Mine project is Huayou Cobalt’s largest single investment project in Africa, having been approved by the authorities in February 2022.

The initiative is set to enhance Zimbabwe’s lithium production as the country strives to become a US$12 billion mining industry by the end of 2023.

Zimbabwe is the world’s fifth largest lithium producer whose lithium output has increased steadily in recent years, producing 1 200 metric tonnes of the battery metal in 2021.

Overall, the success of the Arcadia lithium mine project is a positive development for the global lithium industry, as demand for lithium continues to grow due to the increasing adoption of electric vehicles and other battery-powered devices – Harare

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