Platinum miner Mimosa Mining Company intends to build a 38 megawatt solar power station to provide more power for its operations and contribute to the Government’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Mimosa joins other companies in the country such as Caledonia Mining Corporation and PPC Zimbabwe that are taking a lead in embracing solar energy.
The Victoria Falls Stock Exchange-listed company, CMC Plc, is generating its power at its Blanket Mine unit in Gwanda following the successful completion of a 12,2MW solar station.
PPC Zimbabwe, the subsidiary of a South African cement manufacturing giant, has started building two solar energy stations with a combined energy output of 30MW to power its Zimbabwe operations.
At its Bulawayo plant, PPC Zimbabwe will set up a 10MW solar energy plant, of which 5MW is earmarked for internal use, with the excess fed into the national grid.
In an interview, Mimosa general manager Mr Steve Ndiyamba said the company had to contribute towards the reduction of carbon emissions and focus on renewable energy.
He said the project is currently under feasibility studies with the project cost expected to be one of the outcomes.
“We are carrying out feasibility studies to see how we can use solar energy. We have put in motion plans to construct a 38MW solar power plant to enhance and provide power to the company’s operations,” said Mr Ndiyamba.
Zimbabwe’s quest to achieve a US$12 billion mining industry by 2023 is on course, with the company ploughing millions of dollars into a plant optimisation project to ramp up production.
The mine is developing new mining areas, building a new tailings dam and improving processing efficiencies.
A new tailing storage facility – a dam that stores waste from the mine – is being built at a cost of US$65 million.
The company is also spending a further US$38 million for the plant optimisation which is meant to improve processing efficiencies so that the mine can recover more from mineral ore.
With a capacity of producing 2,8 million tonnes of ore per year, the plant optimisation project will see production surging by six percent, and the mine targeting to complete the project before the end of the year.
The mine, which is jointly owned by South Africa’s Sibanye-Stillwater and Impala Platinum, operates on the southern portion of the Zimbabwean Great Dyke near Zvishavane town.
However, the current mine site, South Hill, is projected to run out in about 10 years. Plans are now underway to develop a new mining site called North Hill that is expected to add to the mine’s life. The company is investing between US$90 million to US$100 million into North Hill to get another 12 years.
The company employs over 3 000 workers and also benefits thousands in downstream industries. Zimbabwe has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per capita by 40 percent, from the current levels, by 2050 to avert the catastrophic impacts of climate change.
The country is a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, whose major objective is to stabilise and bring down greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide.