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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Ban on raw lithium exports to boost value addition and create jobs

Story by Stanley James, Business Editor

Zimbabwe’s decision to ban raw lithium exports has received global support, with the move described as key in accelerating value addition and job creation.

Lithium which is emerging as an important resource commodity with the global economy shifting to clean energy systems has seen Zimbabwe focusing on getting more value from the mineral.

With Zimbabwe boasting of vast lithium deposits, the rise in global demand coupled with firming prices has positioned the country as a lucrative investor destination for the commodity.

An international investment expert based in Washington D.C., Mr Bradley Rohrs, is convinced that the decision by the Zimbabwean government to ban raw lithium exports is a step in the right direction.

“So why are African leaders such as President Mnangagwa making such a firm stance? It comes down to their goals with their economy. Many of these African countries don’t want to simply be places to extract raw resources from. They want to be places where value is added,” he says.

With lithium also being a key commodity in overall economic development, Zimbabwe is also expected to benefit further from the mineral resource.

“And Africa wants to have as much of that done domestically because each phase of that has support industries and creates jobs for everybody and creates more wealth, more velocity of money etc… instead of just getting a quick buck, they want to create something that creates wealth more sustainably.”  

Last week, government through Statutory Instrument 213 of 2022 announced a ban on raw lithium exports.

The move is among other factors expected to create a vibrant lithium value chain in the country.

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