Harare, Zimbabwe — 19 September 2012 – Rapidly growing, South African-based coal miner LontohCoal says it will invest US$9 billion in Zimbabwe over the next five years for its coal-to-liquids plant and a coal slurry pipeline at its Lubumbi coal project.

In an address here, CEO Tshepo Kgadima said the company was targeting large-scale capital investment from 2013 to 2018.

Fin24 reports that of the US$9 billion total, US$7.5 billion would be used for the coal-to-liquids plant which will produce about 50 000 barrels per day (bpd) and create 5,000 direct permanent jobs. The group has already concluded a feasibility study.

To date 64 boreholes have been drilled at 250m spacing and the group expects to mine 80,000 tonnes per day of thermal coal to produce the 50,000 bpd.

Kgadima said that at the moment Zimbabwe consumed about 13,000bpd of liquid fuels, which was expected to grow to 20,000bpd by 2017/18.

He pointed out that once the plant was up, Zimbabwe will realise US$2 billion in foreign exchange savings, as the fuel would substitute diesel and petrol importation.

Kgadima said the project would pay over US$9.8 billion to government in royalties and taxes over the next 20 years, and procure goods and services including labour over the next 20 years for US$41 billion

According to LontohCoal projections, the group expected to pay out dividends of US$3.2 billion to Zimbabwean shareholders over 20 years.

Source: Fin24. For more information, click here.