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Zimbabwe Miners Building Own Power Amid Prolonged Blackouts

Many miners are reportedly building their own power amid reports that the prolonged power crisis has resulted in them losing their production potential.

The Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), the local power utility, says it has applications for 2350MW of new connections, with most of them from mines, according to newZWire.

Below are some of the solar projects going up in the mining industry.

Zimplats
Zimplats has been granted licences to build two solar power plants at its Ngezi and at the Selous processing plant. Combined, Zimplats will invest US$201 million to generate 185MW of power. Zimplats has also recently partnered with DPA, the green energy arm of Cassava Smartech, to install rooftop solar at its offices at the new Bimha mine.

Karo Mining
Karo Mining has started building a new mine near Selous, investing US$391 million for development. Part of the project is a 300MW solar plant to supply the mine, which is expected to start production in 2024.

Caledonia Mining
Blanket Mine has recently switched on its new 12MW solar plant. Construction of the solar plant started in 2021 after Caledonia raised US$13 million from a share sale.

Mimosa
Mimosa Platinum plans to build a 38MW solar plant.

Manhize
Tsingshan, the world’s largest stainless steel company, is building a new steel plant at Manhize, in the Midlands which requires up to 500MW in the next two years – almost a third of today’s national consumption. Tshingshan plans to establish a 300MW power station at the site but still needs ZESA.

RioZim
RioEnergy, the RioZim energy arm, has been awarded licenses to install 180MW of solar power at the gold miner’s operations. The plan is to put up four separate solar parks of 45MW each at RioZim’s three gold mines – Renco Mine in Nyajena, Dalny Mine in Chakari, Cam and Motor Mine in Kadoma, and ​​also at the Murowa Diamonds Mine near Zvishavane.

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