Caledonia Mining slashes diesel usage with solar plant

Business Reporter

New York listed Caledonia Mining Corporation  said its diesel usage has been slashed following the start-up of a solar power generator at the Blanket mine in Zimbabwe.

The 12MWac solar plant, which was connected to the Blanket mine electrical grid in November 2022, is operating better than expected and generating more power than anticipated, the company has announced.

At present, the plant is supplying 27% of Blanket’s average daily electricity demand, though Caledonia also noted supplies from the Zimbabwe grid have also improved, which combined had substantially reduced the amount of diesel consumed and the number of production interruptions.

Mark Learmonth, Caledonia’s Chief Executive, pointed out that as an initial early-stage indicator of the lower consumption in January 2023 Blanket used 18,000 litres of diesel compared to approximately 120,000 litres per month on average during 2022.

“Whilst we can’t be certain that this quantum of improvement will be fully maintained as the year progresses, we are confident that we will continue to see an ongoing meaningful reduction to our diesel usage month on month, fully justifying our investment in solar power and delivering on our ESG strategy,” Learmouth said in a statement.

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