Kamativi Tailings Company (KTC), in which the State-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) is involved through a joint venture, is scheduled to take its tailings project on the old Kamativi Tin Mine into production in mid-2019 following the conclusion of a dispute over ownership of the asset.
BY BUSINESS REPORTER
The joint venture was agreed in February 2018 between Jimbata (Pvt) Ltd trading as Zimbabwe Lithium (ZLC) and Kamativi Tin Mines Ltd (KTM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZMDC.
Project development follows a successful drilling programme on the tailings dump, which confirmed an indicated mineral resource amounting to 26 320 000 tonnes with grades of 0.58% lithium.
The resource evaluation report was completed by the MSA Group and announced last Sunday.
Two local engineering companies have been commissioned to design and construct the pilot plant, working together with a local environmental consulting company engaged to do environmental impact assessments.
“In addition to the anticipated resource statement, KTC has also appointed two local engineering companies, Virimai Projects, MMEP (Pvt) Ltd and environmental company Green Resources Company (Pvt) Ltd to assist in the ongoing development of the project,” KTC said in the statement, which also gave details of the arbitration.
“The arbitration was initiated through an unsubstantiated claim by the Chinese firm Beijing Pingchang Investments Company (Ltd) (the “claimant”) insinuating, through a Historical Joint Venture Agreement (“HJV”) with KTM, that the claimant believed it had rights to the tailings material located at the Kamativi Tin Mine.”
The joint venture between Beijing Pingchang Investments Company and ZMDC was signed in September 2015. Dissatisfied with slow progress, ZMDC inked a separate deal for the tailings dump.
Zimbabwe Lithium managing director John McTaggart explained that Kamativi Tailings facility and the Kamativi Tin Mine were two completely different and separate assets.
According to the KTC statement, the arbitration had established that “the claimant’s claim lacks merit” as “no agreement ever came into existence” and ruled that KTC “is free to deal with the tailings dump in any manner acceptable under the mining laws in this country”.
Arbitrator Justice Mtshiya (Retired) consequently dismissed Beijing Pingchang Investments Company’s claim with costs and adjudicated that the agreement giving effect to KTC “cannot be interfered with”.
Minister of Mines and Mining Development Winston Chitando said: “The Kamativi Tailings Project was the first lithium deal that was signed since the change of dispensation in December 2017.
The project stands to unlock major economic activity in Matabeleland North.
We are excited to work with all shareholders involved in the deal as they share our vision for value addition.
While it has unfortunately taken a bit of time, we understand why and we are very happy to get going.”