By-Some politically connected elites are looting and smuggling lithium in Mutoko.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police Thursday announced they intercepted trucks with lithium ore in Mutoko.
This is happening at a time the Government has banned all exports of lithium ore from promoting local value addition and beneficiation of the mineral.
According to the Herald, the intercepted loads are stored at Mutoko Central Police Station.
The publication did not disclose the quantity of lithium that was in the trucks.
The Government recently claimed that potential revenue was being lost with illegal lithium mining and smuggling.
Lithium is processed in several steps with most global trade in lithium carbonate and lithium hydroxide since the actual metal is highly reactive and bursts into flame on contact with water or in moist environments and corrodes very quickly in the air.
Mutoko villagers are reportedly selling lithium ore for between US$15 to US$20 per wheelbarrow load, or US$100 per tonne, to middlemen who would resell it for US$350 to US$450 a tonne.