- January 29, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company has been urged to upscale investments in renewable energy as a solution to power shortages that has depressed its productivity.
This is contained in a recent study released by the Chamber of Mines which highlighted that mining executives were wary of the recurrent and prolonged power outages.
“Executives of mining companies operating below full capacity mentioned acute power outages, inadequate foreign exchange allocations, capital shortages, high-cost structure and obsolete equipment as the major constrains weighing down capacity utilization in the mining industry.
“The majority of respondent (80%) mining executives indicated that mining companies are facing regular and prolonged power outages resulting in production stoppages….” reads part of the report.
Such regular and prolonged power outages have resulted in depressed productivity in the mining sector, as it is heavily reliant on the availability of electricity to power machines used in processing minerals.
Minister of state for Manicaland Dr. Ellen Gwaradzimba is on record chiding the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC) for being subject to power rationing saying this was a manifestation of failure to invest in renewable energy.
“It is surprising to hear that ZCDC is also not operating at full capacity because it is subjected to power rationing and it cannot meet the cost of fuel to run the plant when there is no electricity.
“This is an anomaly the mine should run without a stop and they should consider investing in renewable energy to solve the problem of power, this would be a long-lasting solution because mining should not stop,” said Gwaradzimba.
Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) deputy director Shamiso Mutisi says big mining concerns should make tangible investment which can not only benet the sector but the community at large.
“ZCDC should invest in national project which a can leave a legacy, like setting up a solar power plant or farm for renewable energy that can also feed into other sectors besides mining,” said Mutisi.