Sinosteel has completed preliminary exploration works on some of its mining claims in the Matabeleland North Province, where it intends to produce methane gas to stabilise the country’s power supply.
Sinosteel is the majority shareholder in Zimasco, Zimbabwe’s largest ferrochrome producer, which in turn owns 90 percent of Shangani Energy Exploration (SEE), the company that intends to extract methane gas and build a power plant.
The investment is part of the US$1 billion deal signed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration and Sinosteel in May 2018, which will also see the building of additional chrome smelters at Zimasco’s Kwekwe smelting complex and in Mberengwa.
According to Zimasco spokesperson Clara Sadomba, Sinosteel and its partners have adequate resources to implement the project.
“Sinosteel and its partners have enough funding to develop the project. The successful completion of the feasibility work to ascertain the commercial viability of the project is the key requirement for the release of funds.
“There is evidence of the existence of a considerable methane gas resource whose viability now needs to be proved.
“The first step towards obtaining this information is additional pumping of water using larger pumps in order to release commercial quantities of the gas.
“The programme will build on the preliminary works already done and will include more in-depth exploration work to confirm the commercial quantities of methane gas hosted by the three special grants as part of the feasibility work”, she said.
“This forms part of the work programme being developed by the consultant. SEE is keen to facilitate the process and get this next phase of work started as early as possible. It is anticipated that this work will commence in late 2019,” said Sadomba.