MARONDERA- As Zimbabwe continues with the economic development trajectory post-
election period, a US$40 million lithium processing plant under construction in Goromonzi
district of Mashonaland East province is expected to be completed next month.
The plant by Shengxiang Investments (Pvt) Limited, a Chinese company, is now above 80
Its completion will, in a big way, ensure that the country continues to enjoy the benefits of the
“Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra which has been embraced by the world’s business
community, with huge investments being made into the country.
When he assumed power in 2017, President Emmerson Mnangagwa embarked on an
engagement and re-engagement drive, drilling the message that Zimbabwe is “a ’friend to all
and enemy to none” and the efforts have been gathering fruit as witnessed by an influx of
investors in all sectors of the economy.
Shengxiang is one of the biggest companies specialising in battery recycling and started
constructing the Goromonzi processing plant in January this year.
Last week, the company’s senior management took the local media on a tour to have an
appreciation of the progress that has been made to date.
Addressing members of the media after the tour, Shengxiang general manager Shuping Liu
said the construction had progressed well and upon completion of that stage, they look
forward to employing more people.
He said: “As you have seen, construction has been progressing well and from the look of
things, we expect production early next month. A lot of equipment that will be used during
production has been stalled and electricity connections have been made.
“At the moment, we have 80 employees inclusive of locals and Chinese experts but when we
start production at a full scale, we expect to hire the services of 200 people here.”
Terrence Dube who is the director of operations at Shengxiang said they are plugging all
gaps with the sole aim to start production at the earliest possible time.
“We are now at the final stages of construction and most of the equipment that we will be
using has been installed. Our aim is to begin the processing and production of lithium next
month. This processing plant will be producing lithium carbonate in Zimbabwe and that is
very much in line with Government’s call for beneficiation of local resources before they are
“Lithium carbonate is a key component in the manufacturing of batteries and ceramics.
When operating at full throttle in future, this plant will have the capacity to produce 2 500
tonnes per day.” Dube said.
Environmental Management Agency (EMA) education and publicity officer Astas Mabwe
said Shengxiang is operating in-situ of environmental standards that are expected from them
in their line of operations.
“It is pleasing to note that the company is adhering to all the environmental requirements and
expectations hence they are continuing with their operations. You may recall that at some
point, we ordered them to halt operations and advised them that they had to obtain an
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) certificate. They complied and we issued them with
the document which is relevant for them to carry out their operations in line with laws of the
“Investors that come to Zimbabwe must view the EMA as a friend to them because we are
not an impediment to national development or projects. We are there to play our part
towards the sustenance of every investment that is injected into the country,” Mabwe said.
Expectations are that the country’s subsector will contribute more than US$500 million to the
country’s mining sector by the end of the year.
Zimbabwe has a large occurrence of Lithium resources, with a number of mining operations
already started in Insiza, Goromonzi, Bikita and Mberengwa with more to follow.
A few months ago, President Mnangagwa commissioned the $US300 million Prospect
Lithium Zimbabwe (PLZ) in the same district.
The project underlined the Government’s commitment to ensure that the landlocked nation
achieves an upper-middle-income economy by the year 2030.
Construction of that plant commenced on April 20 last year after PLZ’s parent company,
Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt Company Limited, which was founded in 2002 and has since
become a multinational corporation whose market value is over $US100 billion, acquired the
PLZ asset leading to the building of a hard rock lithium processing plant.
Apart from employing 1 000 workers during the construction stage, more are set to be
gainfully employment once production at the plant is in full swing.
As part of its corporate-social responsibilities, members of the community have been taken
on board in capacity building and skills transfer, sustainable environmental management,
infrastructure development, community health and education programmes, capacity building
and skills transfer, humanitarian assistance and sport development.