Beitbridge Border Post officials Friday intercepted a consignment of lithium ore on three haulage trucks belonging to one Bernard Tafadzwa Mnangagwa.
The ore was being smuggled from Zimbabwe to South Africa and was declared as manganese, NewsDay reported.
Mines and Mineral Development ministry officials arrived at the border post on Friday morning to attend to the trucks, now under police and Zimbabwe National Army guard.
It is understood that the raw mineral was extracted from places near Sandawana in Mberengwa, and transported to Bulawayo, where it was kept near Khami Cafe close to Bulawayo’s Vehicle Inspection Department.
The mineral was reportedly stored there to facilitate smuggling.
This comes after the government banned exports of raw lithium last week in an effort to value-add Zimbabwe’s minerals and support local production and employment creation.
- Zimbabwe Bans Export Of Raw Lithium
- Police Intercept Trucks Loaded With Lithium Ore
- Two Men Arrested While Trying To Smuggle 40 Tonnes Of Lithium Ore To South Africa
The ban was effected through Statutory Instrument (SI) 213 of 2022 titled Base Mineral Export Control (Unbeneficiated Lithium Bearing Ores) Order, 2022.
Lithium is becoming increasingly important as the world shifts towards clean energy systems.
Zimbabwe has abundant deposits of lithium and, with rising global demand and firmer prices, it has become an attractive destination for investment in this resource.