The old coal mine at
Gwayi, in the Matabeleland
North province of Zimbabwe
Harare, Zimbabwe — 26 March 2013 – New coal miner China-Africa Sunlight Energy says the environmental impact assessment (EIA) it is conducting in northern Zimbabwe will be complete by mid-year, and the company will be able to start mining soon after.

Based in the Gwayi area of Matabeleland North province, China-Africa Sunlight Energy is a joint venture between Old Stone Investments, a consortium of Zimbabwean businessmen, and Shandong Taishan Sunlight, a Chinese conglomerate, and will focus on coal mining, methane coal bed gas extraction and thermal power generation, reports, quoting the Zimbabwean daily newspaper “The Herald.”

China-Africa Sunlight Energy deputy general manager Charles Mugari said the company was keen to adhere to all laws that regulate business activities in the country.

“We have since engaged a consultant to carry out the EIA, and by April 20 the findings will be sent to the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) for consideration,” he revealed. “By June this year the whole process will be concluded. We have been able to fulfil what the EMA requires during exploration so we will do the same this time again.”

Mugari explained that the company would not carry out any mining until it received an EIA certificate from EMA. He added that after the EIA for coal mining, the company would carry out another one for power generation.

Stakeholders to be consulted during the power EIA include the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, Gwayi Intensive Conservation Authority, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority, the Forestry Commission and the local leadership and communities.

China-Africa Sunlight Energy plans to invest US$2.1 billion in the Gwayi projects in the next four years, creating 4,500 jobs and transforming Gwayi into a town. The company plans to produce 3Mt of thermal coal, 1Mt of washed coal and 500,000t of coking coal per year. As far as power generation is concerned, the joint venture is expected to connect 400MW to the national grid by 2015.

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