China Africa Sunlight Energy is a joint venture between Oldstone Investments (Zimbabwean Investment vehicle) and Shandong Taishan Sunlight, a Chinese conglomerate. The joint venture was established in November 2011. It has been established according to the relevant laws and regulations of the country. CASE wishes to engage into underground coal mining and methane gas extraction in the Gwayi area.
Environmental Guardians Services conducted the ESIA and the Environmental Management Agency gave a greenlight for coal mining to commence. However, no coal mining is happening at the present.
The scope of the work shall involve underground coal mining (very little negative environment impacts can be expected) for thermal and coking coal. This project will seek to extract gas for both domestic and industrial use. Removal of methane gas will render the mine safe in terms of explosion since there will not be accumulation of the gas underground. Domestic commercialisation of the gas project will have a pilot program in Hwange and eventually Bulawayo and beyond. Scope of investment shall also involve coal preparation plant (CPP) with a total planned output of 3 million metric tons per year. The CPP will have a washery, where coal is washed to remove ash and sulphides. The coal will be crushed in order to get four products; cobbles, nuts, peas and coal fines. Some of the coal will be channelled to coking.
The Special Grant (SG) encloses part of Sikumi Forestry, Jotsholo, Tshongogwe and part of Kana block and Gwayi Intensive Conservancy Area (ICA). The SG starts from at Gwayi Centre going south east and turns south within Sikumi Forest. It then stretches to south east to Menyezwa Primary School, thereafter, it takes a northerly direction passing through Jotsholo, Tshongogwe up to the northern part of Kana School into the western part of Kana Block. The SG boundary also takes the southern direction passing through Bondo mountain then back to Gwayi Centre (appendix 3a).The SG (No. 5538) is approximately 100 000 hectares. The mine will produce 2.4 million metric tonnes of coal. According to an exploration exercise conducted, extensive deposits of coal-bed methane gas in the Hwange-Lupane basins are estimated to be over 23 billion cubic feet per square mile or 27 trillion cubic feet.