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US$22 million Bikita Minerals power line project on cards

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By Staff Reporter


CHINESE owned Sinomine which runs Bikita Minerals has started work on the US$22 million power line stretching from Tokwe Mukosi dam to Bikita district to provide electricity to its two lithium beneficiation plants currently under construction.

Upon completion the power line will generate at least 132KVA and power up the lithium plants which are being done at a cost of US$300million.

The company’s general manager David Mwanza said the powerline will ease power problems in Masvingo as it will also provide electricity to Bikita, Gutu, Chivi and Zaka districts located in its route.

“The 120km power line from Tokwe to Bikita is meant to provide reliable and adequate power for the two new plants which will be commissioned in July this year. The line will also benefit the communities in which the line is situated,” said Mwanza.

Mwanza added that the mining company is constructing a spodumene and petalite beneficiation plants valued at US$300million which will see the company making a US$1billion revenue by 2024.

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The construction of the power line started three weeks ago and is set to be complete by December this year.

The mine’s Finance Manager Amanda Makausi added that it is now on an expansion drive targeting US$750 million in annual revenue by year end, a significant increase from the US$47 million the company got last year.

Quarry manager Victor Simango applauded Chinese investors for resuscitating production which had gone down under the previous management.

According to Simango, there was an increase in production from around 3 000 tonnes to 10 000 tonnes of petalite per month and after the completion of the two plants the company will make at least 30 000 tonnes per month.

Government last month forced the mine to temporarily suspend operations pending investigations into workers’ welfare.

Issues raised included working and housing conditions, as well as remitting workers benefits with NSSA among other things.

The company has since put its house in order and resumed operations.