Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC has brought its new solar power plant at its Blanket mine in Zimbabwe on stream.
Blanket currently receives its power from ZESA, but in recent years, the electricity supply has not been reliable and this has both economic and safety implications for the underground mine.
Caledonia started constructing the 12.2 MWac solar plant late in 2021.
The solar plant is now operational, and in due course, it is expected that it will provide approximately 27% of Blanket’s average daily electricity demand. Mark Learmonth, chief executive of Caledonia, said:
I am delighted that the solar plant is connected to the Blanket grid and from today Blanket will start to receive some of its energy directly from solar.
With 21 per cent of Blanket’s on-mine costs relating to energy usage, this solar plant is a very important project for the company as it will improve the quality and security of Blanket’s electricity supply and provide environmental benefits through cleaner energy.
The solar power will displace more expensive power from the grid and from the diesel generators and is expected to reduce Caledonia’s consolidated cost per ounce of gold produced by approximately US$37.