The government of Zimbabwe has ordered Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp. (ZMDC) to start exploring the company’s coalbed methane (CBM) concessions in Lupane.
ZMDC currently has two concessions of CBM. Mines and Mining Development Minister, Walter Chidhakwa, said CBM was one of Zimbabwe’s valuable minerals but lamented that fact that no concrete efforts have yet been made to exploit the resource.
“I urge the incoming ZMDC board to work on some of the Greenfield resources, so as to realise value and hence its balance sheet. The corporation has two CBM concessions in the Lupane-Lubimbi area. If explored, the move would be good for the nation,” Chidhakwa said.
“I therefore urge ZMDC to start exploring these reserves to make sure that the country knows how much methane gas it has.” Chidhakwa continued. The minister also suggested that joint ventures, opening new lines of credit and receiving loan funding should be within the ZMDC board’s portfolio in order to raise funding for its projects.
ZMDC is also expected to receive further CBM concessions from the government, in order to realise the value of Zimbabwe’s mineral resources.
Zimbabwe has an estimated 40 trillion ft3 of potentially recoverable gas in the Lupane-Lubimbi area.
A recent report from the World Bank urged the government to develop a clear strategy to extract the gas.
Besides gas for electricity generation, there are other investment opportunities, which are available in the core and downstream industries from CBM, including production of a variety of chemicals, fertiliser production and gas to liquids producing diesel, specialist lubricants and waxes.
Companies, such as China-Africa Sunlight Energy (Private) Ltd, have already contracted Environmental Guardians Services to conduct an environmental impact assessment for exploration of coal and methane gas at its Gwayi-concession.
Last year, China-Africa Sunlight applied for power-generation licences from the Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority to establish a power plant to produce 120 MW electricity output.
Studies have revealed that coal-bed methane deposits in the country have capacity to produce 300 MW of electricity.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/cbm/29042014/searching_for_cbm_in_zimbabwe_cbm17/