Unki Mine to power up with 35 MW on-site solar project

Staff Writer

Anglo American (Anglo) says the on-site 35 megawatt (MW) solar project planned for its Zimbabwean unit, Unki Mine, is progressing well.

According to Anglo’s 2023 sustainability report, construction for the solar plant is expected to begin in late 2024 or early 2025.

The Shurugwi-based miner’s incorporation of solar power offers a promising solution, aiming to bolster energy security and reduce the company’s environmental footprint in the country.

“On-site solar projects at both our Sishen (65 MW) and Unki (35 MW) operations are also progressing, targeting the end of 2024 to early 2025 to commence construction, with a mature pipeline of additional projects following shortly thereafter,” Anglo said in its sustainability report.

Unki’s solar project signifies a significant shift in its operations, currently reliant on grid-supplied electricity, a source often hampered by power outages.

The move aligns with Anglo’s broader sustainability goals. The company has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2040.

By harnessing solar power, Anglo American can contribute to a cleaner energy mix in Zimbabwe while ensuring the continued productivity of its mines.

Anglo’s transition pillars.

Zimbabwe’s current power generation capacity struggles to meet national demand, leading to frequent blackouts that disrupt not only daily life but also critical industrial operations.

Solar energy offers a reliable and sustainable alternative, mitigating the impact of these disruptions and ensuring a more stable power supply for the mines.

The move comes as the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe recently said it is actively exploring alternative power solutions to address the ongoing energy crisis affecting the country’s mining industry.

The power supply situation has negatively impacted the mining industry with most mining companies reporting unscheduled power outages resulting in production stoppages and huge losses.

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