Tanzania is to outlaw the export of raw lithium starting in 2024 in an effort to boost revenue from its enormous lithium reserves, which are essential to the production of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs).
News source According to a letter to miners cited in the Africa Report, in order for export licenses to be issued, lithium stakeholders must have plants for refining within Tanzania and raise the value of the minerals by a minimum of 5%. The June 8 letter said that the policy would go into force on May 31, 2024.
Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Ghana are among the African nations requesting domestic refining. Tanzania has witnessed an influx of foreign businesses to conduct lithium prospecting.
The chairman of StraMin, Mark van den Arend, was quoted in the Africa Report as saying that requiring lithium value addition is “the right strategy” for Tanzania and that it would not be surprising if the requirement was expanded to include other minerals. StraMin serves as an intermediary buyer of minerals from small and medium-sized (SME) miners in the East African nation.
This year, Van den Arend, a Frankfurt-based executive who formerly worked at Deutsche Bank, founded StraMin. It focuses on purchasing minerals at cost from miners, who then split the profits from resale, including copper, beryllium, nickel, graphite, lithium, cobalt, coltan, and tin. With miners owning seventy-five primary licenses in Tanzania, StraMin has exclusive offtake rights.
According to Van den Arend, “People underestimate the relevance of the SME mine sector.” Aggregating SME output also “empowers” small-scale miners and increases the operations’ appeal to foreign customers and investors. Van den Arend spoke with The Africa Report.
Lithium is regarded as a crucial mineral in the clean energy transition and is a necessary component in the production of contemporary batteries used in cutting-edge technology, such as lithium-ion batteries for electric cars.
Among the foreign businesses that have produced noteworthy lithium discoveries in Tanzania are the US company Titan Lithium Inc. and the Australian multinationals Liontown Resources and Cassius Mining Ltd.