Farirai Machivenyika, Harare's office
President Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday officially launched the ceremony of the Arcadia lithium mine in Goromonzi, which will see an initial investment of $ 165 million.
The project, run by the Australian company Prospect Resources, is to employ more than 700 people in the first phase and build additional equipment such as roads, schools and homes.
President Mnangagwa said the opening of the mine was in line with the government's policy of industrializing the country.
"The opening of this new mine is in line with my government's attempt to overcome the industrialization and modernization of the country," he said. "I commend Prospect Resources Limited for this milestone success that will take a long way to developing our country.
"Zimbabwe hosts rich natural resources and highly diversified sources of mineral resources, one of which is lithium."
President Mnangagwa said that lithium should be one of the key mining subsectors that will play an important role in the economy's turnover.
He said mining was critical to achieving the 2030 Vision as the country became an economy with higher middle income.
"In this respect, we are continuing to implement comprehensive reforms to strengthen our country's competitiveness in this and other sectors in the context of regional and global trends," said President Mnangagwa.
He praised the Ministry for Mines and Mining Development and other stakeholders for accelerating the opening of the mine.
"In line with the spirit of our fluidity and the cost of doing business in reforms, the ministry of mining and mining industry and other regulators appreciate the fact that they are effectively facilitating and finalizing regulatory approval to get the project started," he said.
"This allowed investors to consolidate their preparatory work and mobilize project funding, which led to this formal closing."
President Mnangagwa called on investors to start production.
"I look forward to the immediate launch of this project with the establishment of an open mine mine, which will be part of an integrated project that also includes mining plants," he said.
"When implementing the project, wealth and job creation, as well as the improved living standards of our people, must be an integral part of your business model.
"I have heard that more than 700 jobs will be created and will be mostly local and we are grateful for the government."
President Mnangagwa said that other benefits of the project include the transfer of technology and skills and the development of new competencies.
"As we expand the spectrum of used minerals in our country, we urge mining companies to build value chain links and strategic partnerships with higher education institutions through deliberate training to equip local residents with the necessary skills and technical know-how," he said.
President Mnangagwa has encouraged investors who are coming to the country to facilitate inclusive economic growth and empower local people.
Zimbabwe has one of the largest stocks of lithium in Africa, with confirmed deposits in Bikita, Goromonzi and Kamativi.
The Arcadia mine should produce 2.5 million tons of lithium per year, achieving optimal production.