A multinational firm that is developing one of Africa’s biggest lithium mines in Zimbabwe has moved into the Goromonzi community, about 60 kilometres east of Harare to repair damaged roads, before it kicks off production this quarter.
Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe (PLZ) kicked off prospecting at its Arcadia Mine claims about four years ago, before it was taken over by Chinese investors in a US$378 million deal in 2021.
It says it will ship out its first resource to the international markets early this year.
A statement released on Thursday said the roads rehabilitation programme was part of a long list of community interventions already underway in Zimbabwe including the construction of classrooms and bridges.
The statement said PLZ had resurfaced a major highway in Goromonzi, where Arcadia Mine is located.
It said the project also included giving a facelift to another gravel road.
“This (intervention into Goromonzi) marks one of the corporate’s successes ever since its inception less than a year ago,” the statement said.
Councillors in Goromonzi said PLZ had improved living standards and reduced community crimes since it invested in the areas where unemployment levels were high.
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“Many local challenges such as unemployment and lack of education and health infrastructure development have been resolved by this global mining giant,” said Kondwakuenda Magaya a local councillor.
Ditima Mabasa, another councillor, said lives had been changed and better prospects for the future offered since the firm began developing its mine.
“The year 2022 saw Vhuta Primary School in Goromonzi being transformed. New classroom blocks were constructed, old ones were renovated while semi-detached teachers’ houses were constructed. Donations of 5 500 textbooks and furniture were also made to Vhuta Primary, Belmont Primary and Mwanza Primary and Secondary Schools.”
“The lithium mining company…will this year be pillaring its corporate social responsibility on infrastructure development and agriculture. Increased companywide commitments to reduce environmental footprint, boost health and education in the communities the company is operating in. PLZ is set to put into motion what is one of Mashonaland East’s biggest mining and corporate social responsibilities in 2023. It is set to contribute millions of dollars in building and rehabilitation of community schools, supporting the educational needs of underprivileged children, sponsoring various sporting disciplines, supporting health and disability centres, agriculture and training of farmers enabling them to enhance household livelihoods among other things,” the statement noted.