Zimbabwe is attracting more ASX-listed explorers, with Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration the latest to pick up projects in the country.

Lithium Consolidated (ASX:LI3) has been granted seven new lithium projects in the Mutare Greenstone Belt in eastern Zimbabwe.

The company says the belt’s lithium exploration potential is similar to that of the Pilbara Craton pegmatites, in Western Australia, about 10 years or so ago.

Pegmatites are rocks formed from lava or magma that are the primary source of lithium.

The Mutare Greenstone Belt is one of the key historical tantalite mining districts in the country, but where the lithium-bearing minerals were not exploited.

Lithium Consolidated says the Zimbabwe projects comprise 29 granted prospecting licences and another 19 that are under application.

The company believes the abandoned historical workings have early, small-scale development and production potential.

‘Open for business’

Mining investment is flooding into Zimbabwe as the new government opens its doors — which has seen the handful of ASX stocks active in the region make gains.

Lithium Consolidated shares briefly advanced 7 per cent to an intra-day high of 15c this morning before retracing their gains.

Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration (ASX:LI3) shares over the past year.
Lithium Consolidated Mineral Exploration (ASX:LI3) shares over the past year.

Since the fall of long-time leader Robert Mugabe in November, the new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has been making it known to the world that his country is finally ‘open for business’.

In the latter years of Mugabe’s reign, foreign investment stalled – leaving a country rich in resources largely underexplored.

Zimbabwe has long been a significant producer of lithium and is currently the 5th largest producer in the world.

The largest single producer is the Bikita mine, where resources of around 11 million tonnes at 1.4 per cent lithium have been mined for over 60 years.