ZMF Proposes Partnership with KMH for Lithium Toll Processing


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DT Correspondent

Zimbabwe Miners Federation (ZMF) has suggested a partnership with Kuvimba Mining House (KMH) for toll processing of their ores in a bid to protect artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) in the lithium sector from exploitation by predatory buyers and agents.

ZMF President Ms Henrietta Rushwaya said there is need for measures to prevent the theft and undervaluation of ores, similar to the challenges faced by miners in the chrome sector.

She emphasised the importance of ensuring that the ASM sector benefits from its resources and does not suffer from monopolistic practices.

“We propose that Kuvimba does toll processing for the ASM sector as this will enable us to benefit from the resource since we don’t want a repeat of what is currently happening in the chrome sector where there is a monopoly and the resource is being sold for a song.

“We are getting cleverer by the day, and we cannot allow our miners to continue suffering when we are the owners of the resource,” she said.

The chrome market in the country is currently dominated by predatory buyers who have formed domestic cartels, purchasing chrome at significantly low prices, averaging around 15 percent of export sales prices.

To prevent a similar situation in the lithium sector, ZMF aims to promote value addition and beneficiation of the product, ensuring that miners receive fair compensation for their efforts.

One of the primary challenges faced by chrome ore producers is limited access to the international export market, which reduces opportunities to earn foreign currency and revive operations.

The low prices offered by local smelters and internationally-based buyers to chrome producers have resulted in a decline in chrome ore production, predominantly driven by the ASM sector.

Consequently, Zimbabwe is experiencing significant losses in foreign currency earnings and tax revenues, while also missing out on opportunities for reinvestment in production growth and operational efficiencies.

The proposed partnership between ZMF and KMH for toll processing in the lithium sector aims to address these challenges, ensuring fair compensation for miners and promoting sustainable growth in the ASM industry.

By adding value to the lithium ores locally, Zimbabwe can maximize its economic potential and strengthen the overall mining sector.

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