Zimbabwe has been mining lithium for 60 years and the government estimates that its Chinese-owned Bikita mine, which is located 300 km south of the capital Harare, has about 11 million metric tons of lithium resources. In an effort to reclaim control of its mineral exports, Zimbabwe passed the Base Mineral Export Control Act in 2022, which banned the export of raw lithium. However, some Chinese-owned companies that are developing mines and processing plants in the country are exempt from this ban. With the world going electric, African countries will play a critical role in the electric vehicle battery supply chain. In 2009, China overtook the U.S. as Africa’s largest trading partner and accounted for 70 percent of global EV battery production capacity leaving the U.S. behind. CNBC explores Zimbabwe’s mining sector to find out why China has a stronghold on the country and why it matters to the U.S..
Why All Eyes Are On Zimbabwe’s Lithium Industry
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Zimbabwe’s Lithium Industry