Ishemunyoro Chingwere Business Reporter
Australia listed firm, Prospect Resources, has secured a long-term off-take partner for its Arcadia Lithium Project with a Belgian company – Sibelco, the miner has announced.
The deal is set to give fresh impetus to the lithium project, which Prospect is developing near Harare.
Demand for lithium is poised to grow exponentially due to the envisaged demand in electrical vehicles.
It is against this background that lithium is expected to play a major role in the transformation of the Zimbabwean economy towards upper middle income economy in 2030.
In a statement yesterday, Prospect said the agreement is set to catapult Prospect Resources into global dominance in the production of ultra-low iron petalite.
“I am pleased to announce that we have signed an offtake agreement with Sibelco for Arcadia’s premium ultra-low iron petalite,” said Prospect managing director Sam Hosack.
“Sibelco is the largest distributor of ultra-low iron petalite in Europe and possibly the world and we believe that this is the largest ultra-low iron petalite offtake agreement ever signed.
“Sibelco is a global industrial minerals business, with annual turnover of some €3,5 billion.
“Once in production, Prospect is expected to be the largest ultra-low iron petalite producer in the world,” he said.
He said the seven-year agreement is for up to 100 000 dmt per annum of high quality, ultra-low iron petalite concentrate, resulting in a total of up to 700 000 dmt over the lifetime of the contract.
The Australian-listed concern also advised that pricing formula for the agreement is linked to the end customer sales contracts with minimum pricing provisions.
Zimbabwe is on an accelerated drive towards boosting mining sector contribution to the country’s economic well-being.
This is as a result of President Mnangagwa having advised mining and agriculture will provide the pivot on which economic turnaround will be achieved.
Already, the sector is pursuing a 2023 milestone by which mining sector exports should reach the US$12 billion mark.
This will be a huge jump from US$2,7 billion attained in 2017.
Zimbabwe is endowed with natural resources and the Government insists with proper beneficiation and value addition, nothing stops on its road towards attaining middle income status.