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Zimbabwe looks to lithium to power electric car revolution and its economy

By Michelle Chifamba
Posted on Thursday, 25 November 2021 15:33

In Argentina's north a new 'white gold' rush for EV metal lithium
An employee grabs carbonate lithium after being processed at the Rincon Mining lithium pilot plant, at the Salar del Rincon salt flat, in Salta, Argentina August 12, 2021. REUTERS/Agustin Marcarian

With growing global demand for ‘green’ cars and ‘smart’ phones, Zimbabwe stands to reap a windfall thanks to its vast lithium reserves.

Often referred to as ‘white gold’, the alkali metal is a key component in the production of many different types of batteries powering today’s technological marvels. Zimbabwe’s Bikita mine, in the southwestern province of Masvingo, happens to hold the world’s largest-known deposit of the alkali metal, at around 11m tonnes.

According to an African Mining Markets report, “Zimbabwe is the leading country in Africa to produce lithium ore, and the 4th largest in the world”. Harare is now looking to the worldwide surge in demand to help make its economic recovery plans a reality, thanks to its dominating position in the global supply of the mineral.