Zimbabwe: Mberengwa residents urge authorities to ensure that they too benefit from lithium mining in the area
“Our Participation And Benefit From Lithium Mining Is A Basic Human Right” – Mberengwa Community’ 29 November 2022
People from Mberengwa, Midlands have urged authorities to ensure that they participate and benefit from lithium mining in their area. There was recently a lithium rush in Mberengwa with more than 5 000 artisanal miners and fortune seekers, including foreigners, mainly of Chinese and Indian origin, descending on the former Sandawana Mine in Mberengwa, in search of lithium. Sandawana Mine is in the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) portfolio and has been famed for producing emeralds and other precious stones.
Lithium is a rare mineral whose production is currently taking place in only eight countries, with 85% of the global supply coming from Australia, Chile and China. Zimbabwe is the world’s fifth-largest lithium producer. Its lithium output has risen steadily in recent years, producing 1 200 metric tonnes of the metal in 2021. The government recently stopped all operations in the area to formalise mining. It is against this background that the people of Mberengwa feel sidelined and now want to be included in all processes. Pindula News presents a summary of Mberengwa Lithium Community Group: