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Lithium Miner, Sandawana Mines, Lays Off 300 Workers

Chinese firms to build lithium processing plants following Export ban

Sandawana Mines, a subsidiary of Kuvimba Mining House, has paid off 300 workers that it laid off due to the effects of declining global lithium prices.

In an interview with NewsDay on Tuesday, Sandawana Mines general manager Godwin Gambiza said they have resorted to cost-cutting measures “to protect the business”. He said:

What has happened is that lithium prices have gone right through the floor to the extent that the prices that are on the market are way lower than the cost of mining lithium ore.

So, as a result of that, some measures have been taken to protect the business resulting in the curtailing of operations so that we survive on the stockpiles we have accumulated.

Over time we have accumulated close to a million tonnes of ore, so we cannot continue incurring costs when there is no outlet on the market right now for the product.

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For your information, lithium prices have fallen by 80% and for lithium ore between 2% to 2.5%.

So, as a result, we needed to look into the number of contractors we had engaged. We had engaged about one thousand contractors.

We had to remain with a number that matches the operations that are continuing there.

We had to cut that number by 300 and remain at 700 contractors.

Gambiza said the company was processing the former workers’ salaries. He said:

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The issue of their money has been sorted out. I signed for the money for their salaries this morning.

I am sure they will be getting their money either today or tomorrow.

Also read: Progress: Mbudzi Interchange Project Reaches 55% Completion

Demand for lithium has been exceeding supply for the past few years due to a global push for electric vehicles as the metal is the main raw material for batteries.

However, as of mid-last year, international market experts had warned that there would be declining mineral prices globally.

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The decline in the global price of lithium was attributed to an uncertain economic future in the world’s largest economies and growing geopolitical tensions.

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