Harare (New Ziana)-Chinese owned lithium miner, Bikita Minerals on Monday announced that it is pausing operations for a week to address administrative concerns raised by authorities at its plant.
In a statement, mine manager David Mwanza said the company expects to resume operations once all the outstanding issues have been addressed.
He did not disclose more information on the government concerns but the halting of operations comes after reports of a staff dispute over work conditions.
“This notice serves to inform our stakeholders and partners that we have put our operations on hold for 7 days to address administrative concerns raised by authorities at our plant,”
“As a law-abiding corporate, we remain committed to fully comply with all requirements of the law and expect to resume operations once all the outstanding issues have been addressed. In the meantime, the company’s leadership is working closely with all relevant authorities to ensure that the matter is resolved within the stipulated time frame.”
Mwanza said Bikita minerals employs 860 employees and the company would meet its obligations to them.
“During this 7-day period all employees to stay at their homes and residences except for those in care and maintenance. Those on essential services will be required to perform their prescribed duties,” he said.
Chinese mining firm Sinomine bought Bikita Minerals last year in a US$180 million deal with African Metals Management Services and German investor Wilfried Pabst’s Southern African Metals and Minerals, the Mauritius-registered companies that held a combined 74 percent of the mine.
After the acquisition, Sinomine immediately started building processing plants under a US$200 million investment that will treble production. The spodumene and petalite plants are expected to be completed by July this year.
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