Bikita Minerals in $7mln capex, to double output

Bikita Minerals in $7mln capex, to double output

MASVINGO, March 6 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s main lithium producer, Bikita Minerals, will this year spend over $7 million on plant upgrade and geological exploration as it plans to double output in 2018, an official has said.

The mine holds the world’s largest known lithium deposits, estimated at 11 million tonnes.

On Monday, Mine Manager David Mwanza told The Source the mine is retooling to meet increased demand.

“Bikita is retooling to meet an increase in demand. Between the end of 2016 and the end of 2017 Bikita will spend over $4m on plant upgrades and a further $3.5m on geological exploration,” he said.

“Bikita has already installed some new equipment in conveyor belts and screens (and) a cone crusher. (Bikita) is installing a new optical sorting plant followed by a new DMS plant to second the one operating now.”

Mwanza said the new equipment would help increase output to 80,000 tonnes per year, double the figure achieved in 2016. The mine has produced a peak of 50,000 tonnes a year, according to reports.

Former energy minister Dzikamai Mavhaire is a significant shareholder in Bikita Minerals.