UK-based mining and exploration company Sable Mining Africa Ltd and Chinese construction firm CITIC Construction Co Ltd have signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of a 600 MW coal-fired power plant in Zimbabwe.

The plant is to be built at Sable’s 19,236 ha Lubu coal mine project (pictured), located in the Mid Karoo Zambezi coal basin in Zimbabwe’s northwestern Hwange mining district.

The country’s Ministry of Energy and Power Development is on record as supporting the deal, in accordance with its mandate to encourage energy development.

Andrew Groves, CEO of Sable Mining, said: “Considering the energy and power dynamic in southern Africa, there is a major demand for a secure and reliable power supply, which will continue to grow unless new power sources are established. Our proposition is to develop a 600 MW coal power station in conjunction with CITIC and with the support of the Zimbabwean government.

“This will represent a significant step forward in solving the ongoing energy deficit, which is currently presenting significant obstacles to development within southern Africa,” he continued. “The combination of our quality coal together with CITIC’s access to power plant infrastructure, financing and construction expertise has the potential to create a long-term power supply, which, due to Lubu’s strategic location in northwest Zimbabwe, could supply both domestic and regional demand once connected to the established power grid.

“Our team now look forward to exploring the commercial potential of this MoU further with the CITIC team and moving forwards with this project at speed.”