China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt has announced plans to invest as sum of US $300 million on rapid development of a lithium mine and processing plant at its newly acquired Arcadia project in Zimbabwe.
According to Huayou subsidiary Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe, the firm intend to develop the project rapidly over the next year and invest around $300 million to develop the mine and construct a process plant with a capacity to treat around 4.5 million tonnes of ore and produce 400,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum.
Huayou, one of the world’s biggest producers of cobalt, recently completed a $422 million purchase of the hard-rock lithium mine just outside Harare from Australia-listed Prospect Resources and other Zimbabwean minorities.
The company said the Arcadia project is expected to deliver its first batch of lithium-bearing minerals spodumene and petalite in 2023. Lithium prices have soared this year as carmakers have struggled to source the metal used in electric vehicle batteries. Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe said it would employ 600 locals during the construction phase, with up to 900 jobs being created when production begins.