Amalgamated Regional Trading (ART) says it is working on setting up a manufacturing facility for lithium storage, which is one of its key projects to move in line with meeting market demands.
The country is estimated to have some of the world’s largest reserves of hard rock lithium, a critical mineral in electric vehicles and related industries.
Chief executive officer Milton Macheka told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting that they are cognisant of technological developments, especially in the energy sector and in particular with energy storage.
“There has been a lot of demand for lithium; I think lithium is obviously the buzzword, and to this end, we have identified partners with whom we can work with. We will obviously have a scale disadvantage and at the moment, it will be very practical for us to be looking at establishing the manufacturing facility for lithium storage.
“So our process is such that we will be taking on partners, first trading partners, which we have already started, so we are in the market offering various alternatives for lithium storage, but we anticipate that as the year progresses we should be able to start an ideal where we can get into space where we can do assembly locally.
“This should most likely bring post-project results that would be dependent on the current but assessments that are underway to ensure that there is enough scale to be able to run that undertaking commercially,” he said.
This comes as Mines Minister Winston Chitando banned the exports of raw lithium last December.
He said the company is aware of its limitations at the moment with respect to offering the whole range that is required by the market.
“We have been on the market for backup power storage power with our LED acid offering, which is done very well, I think, since introduction in about 2014 and 2015. We have been trading gel batteries, and we would be looking at ensuring that we can continue to do that at the correct level but to ensure that we have the whole offering.”
At the AGM, directors’ fees were approved at $82.64 million and auditors’ fees at $47 million. Grant Thornton Chartered Accountants was reappointed as the auditors of the company.
ART is the 10th most traded stock on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange over the past three months (Dec 6, 2022 – Mar 9, 2023).
ART has traded a total volume of 10.1 million shares valued at $144 million over the period, with an average of 161,032 traded shares per session – Harare