HARARE, September 21 (The Source) – Africa focused junior miner, Sable Mining Africa on Monday said it had signed a memorandum of understanding to build a 600-megawatt thermal power station with China’s Citic Construction at its Lubu Coal Project in Hwange a Chinese company in Zimbabwe.
The plant will cost $500 million, Sable Mining chief executive Andrew Groves said in a statement on Monday, with the coal mined at the 19,236 hectare Lubu project supplying the power station. The project had an estimated 786 million tonnes of coal but the with potential for more after results of a drilling campaign in 2010 showed high grade coking coal deposits across multiple seams.
Groves did not give a timeline for the project. CITIC Construction is a subsidiary of CITIC Group, a Chinese based construction and services provider.
“Considering the energy and power dynamic in southern Africa, there is a major demand for a secure and reliable power supply, which will continue to grow unless new power sources are established,” said Groves.
“Our proposition is to develop a 600 MW coal power station in conjunction with CITIC and with the support of the Zimbabwean government.”
Groves said the plant would represent a significant step forward in solving the ongoing energy deficit in the southern Africa nation, which currently produces less than half of its peak demand of 2,300MW.
“The combination of our quality coal together with CITIC’s access to power plant infrastructure, financing and construction expertise has the potential to create a long-term power supply which, due to Lubu’s strategic location in north-western Zimbabwe, could supply both domestic and regional demand once connected to the established power grid,” said Groves.
“Our team now looks forward to exploring the commercial potential of this MoU further with the CITIC team and moving forward with this project at speed.”
The AIM-listed Sable Mining also has coal interests in Botswana and South Africa through Delta Mining but its main focus is on its iron ore assets in Guinea and Liberia in West Africa.