Win for all at Arcadia Lithium Project as development, value addition take centre stage

Huayou International Mining Limited is set to transform the lives of communities through consultation-based projects and value addition that will create vast employment opportunities, the company has revealed.

Huayou recently acquired 87 percent of Prospect Resources’ Arcadia Lithium Project in Goromonzi, Mashonaland East and this will be a boon for jobs, community development and will see Zimbabwe enhance its position in the electric vehicle manufacturing industry.

“Huayou intends to develop the project rapidly over the next year and invest around US$300 million to develop the mine and construct a process plant with a capacity to treat around 4.5 million tonnes of ore and produce 400,000 tonnes of lithium concentrate per annum,” revealed Huayou Cobalt Zimbabwe general manager Haijun Zhu recently.

At least 600 locals are to be employed during the construction phase with figures rising to between 700 and 900 when production goes into gear. Zhu said the company was focused on developing the community that it operates and believes that they can only do that by letting the people decide on what they want done.

A Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) committee has already been put in place and has gathered from the local people what they urgently want to see improved. Zhu said: “To that end the company has already put up funding, with the upgrade of a classroom block at Vhuta Primary School in progress.

Teacher accommodation, a new classroom block and an administrative block are in the pipeline.

Other areas of need that the community has highlighted which are being addressed on progressive basis include employment preference for locals where they have capacity, upgrades of health facilities, provision of basic pharmaceutical supplies, improvement of access to potable water through borehole drilling and cattle dipping facilities.

The company is set to address these areas, as it works hand-in-hand with locals in the farming and agriculture district, about 40 km outside the capital, Harare.

The takeover of the mine by the Chinese giant was widely praised for its game-changing prospects and benefits flowing from its Special Economic Zone status.

It becomes one of Zimbabwe’s biggest mining houses and set to contribute towards theattainment of the US$12 Billion Mining Economy by 2023 vision set out by Government.