Chinese miner Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt (Huayou) is set to invest $300m at the recently purchased Arcadia hard-rock lithium mine in Zimbabwe, reported Reuters.

This investment will be used to develop the mine and build a processing plant at the project, the news agency stated citing company documents.

Huayou subsidiary Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe was cited by Reuters as saying that the company plans to develop the project rapidly over the next year.

The processing plant will be equipped to treat nearly 4.5 million tonnes (Mt) of ore. It will have a 400,000tpa production capacity of lithium concentrate.

The Chinese firm plans to deliver the first batch of lithium-bearing minerals spodumene and petalite from the Arcadia project in 2023.

Located near Harare, the project is considered one of the largest hard rock lithium resources in the world. It aims to process 2.4Mtpa of ore.

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According to Prospect Lithium Zimbabwe, the project is expected to create 600 jobs during the construction period and up to 900 jobs once it starts production.

Huayou recently closed the $422 deal to acquire the Arcadia project from Prospect Resources and other Zimbabwean minorities.

According to the deal, Huayou agreed to pay $377.8m to Prospect Resources and another $44.2m for stakes held by Zimbabwean professor Kingston Kajese and Tamari Trust.

The takeover forms part of the Chinese firm’s plan to enhance its production of battery minerals to meet the growing demand from electric vehicle (EV) sector.