Arcadia Lithium project to unlock massive opportunities

Source: Arcadia Lithium project to unlock massive opportunities | Sunday Mail (Local News)

Sunday Mail Correspondent

Huayou International Mining Limited plans to invest around US$300 million into the development of the Arcadia Lithium project in Goromonzi over the next year, creating over 600 new jobs during the construction phase.

Huayou recently completed the acquisition of 87 percent of Prospect Resources’ Arcadia Lithium Project in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East, in a US$400 million transaction with the Australia Stock Exchange-listed firm.

Development of the mine is expected to transform the lives of communities around Goromonzi through consultation-based projects and value addition that will create vast employment opportunities, according to the company.

“Huayou intends to develop the project rapidly over the next year and invest around US$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,” said Huayou Cobalt Zimbabwe general manager Mr Haijun Zhu.

At least 600 locals are to be employed during the construction phase before rising to between 700 and 900 when production commences.

Mr Zhu said Huayou was focused on developing the community that it operates and believes that they can only do that by letting the people decide on what they want to be done.

A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee has already been set up and engaged the local community to understand their immediate needs.

Mr Zhu said: “To that end, the company has already put up funding, with the upgrade of a classroom block at Vhuta Primary School in progress. Teacher accommodation, a new classroom block and an administration block are in the pipeline.”

Other areas of need that the community has highlighted which are being addressed progressively include employment preference for locals where they have capacity, upgrading health facilities, provision of basic pharmaceutical supplies, improvement of access to potable water through borehole drilling and cattle dipping facilities.

The company is set to address these needs as it works hand-in-hand with locals. The takeover of the mine by the Chinese mining giant was widely praised for its game-changing prospects and benefits flowing from its Special Economic Zone status.

It becomes one of Zimbabwe’s biggest mining houses and is set to contribute towards the attainment of the US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.

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