Home » Zimbabwe’s Lithium Boom: UK Firm Upbeat on Drilling Results

Zimbabwe’s Lithium Boom: UK Firm Upbeat on Drilling Results

Galileo Resources completes phase one of its exploration drilling programme at Kamativi project

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe is poised to become a major player in the global lithium market, as a UK-based exploration company reports positive results from its drilling program at its Kamativi project in Matabeleland North Province. Galileo Resources, which also has a gold asset project near Bulawayo, said it had completed phase one of its lithium exploration drilling program and was encouraged by the initial indications.

Lithium is a key component of batteries for electric vehicles, which are expected to drive the demand for the mineral in the coming years. According to the International Energy Agency, the global demand for lithium could increase more than four times by 2030 compared to 2020. Zimbabwe, the largest lithium reserve in Africa and the sixth largest globally is well-positioned to benefit from this growing market.

Galileo’s lithium asset is adjacent to the defunct Kamativi tin mine, which hosts a substantial lithium tailings resource, mainly spodumene, the most sought-after lithium mineral globally. The company said it had observed mineralization and alteration similar to that reported in the first hole drilled at the site, which showed high-grade lithium oxide values.

“We are very pleased with the initial indications from the phase one reconnaissance drilling program at Kamativi, which was aimed to test the mapped pegmatites and their continuity,” said Colin Bird, Galileo’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We will continue to inform the market as the program evolves following this promising start.”

Galileo is not the only company exploring lithium in Zimbabwe. Prospect Resources, an Australia-listed firm, sold its Arcadia project near Harare to China’s Huayou Cobalt last year for US$422 million. Huayou has since built a US$300 million processing plant at Arcadia and has exported over 100,000 tonnes of lithium concentrates. Another Chinese company, Shengxiang Lithium, is developing a processing plant in Goromonzi. Other investors include Bikita Minerals, Sabi Star in Buhera, and UK companies Red Rock, Galileo, and Premier African Minerals.

Zimbabwe’s mining industry accounts for 83 percent of exports, 73 percent of foreign direct investment, 19 percent of the government’s revenues, 11 percent of individual incomes, and two percent of formal employment. The sector is expected to generate more than US$20 billion by 2030. The government has issued 38 active exclusive prospecting orders for various minerals, including lithium.

Zimbabwe’s lithium boom could boost its economic recovery and create more jobs and opportunities for its people. The country also has the potential to become a regional hub for battery manufacturing and recycling, adding value to its natural resources.

Source: The Herald

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