Bikita minerals complete construction of a 12MW solar plant

Sinomine Resource Group-owned Bikita Minerals in an endeavour to mitigate…

Sinomine Resource Group-owned Bikita Minerals in an endeavour to mitigate electricity challenges in Zimbabwe at the same time while pushing towards a clean energy future in Zimbabwe has completed the construction of its 12MW solar plant.

Rudairo Mapuranga

Electricity problems are a major operating difficulty in Zimbabwe with mining firms reverting to importing and the use of alternative off-grip power like petroleum and solar.

According to Bikita Minerals Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) officer Collin Nikisi, the lithium miners completed the solar project and is in the process of constructing a 120KM Tokwe-Bikita powerline which will be commissioned by 31 March 2024.

“Bikita Minerals has successfully completed the construction of a 12MW Photovoltaic plant. The Lithium miner is also constructing the 120km Tokwe- Bikita powerline to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2024,” Nikisi said.

In 2022 Bikita Minerals won two awards in Responsible Investment and Social Impact Awards both at the South East Region and national levels cementing itself as one of the best Mines with a strong focus on CSR.

After the acquisition of Bikita Minerals in 2022, Sinomine drilled 7 boreholes in Bikita West and this year alone it has already drilled 26 boreholes in Masvingo North, Masvingo West and Bikita West. Plans are underway to drill an additional 10 in Bikita South and East. The communities have ventured into green gardening to generate income from the sale of produce.

Under the supervision of the Bikita Minerals CSR committee Chairperson who is also the company’s Managing Director Zhenhua Wang, Bikita Minerals has set up a tertiary scholarship fund to assist intelligent students from vulnerable/ poor families and established a football team in Division One which is currently vying for promotion into the Premier league.

The lithium producer has also set up a community development fund to assist with income-generating projects and pressing community development needs. The local chief and community administer the fund. The mine also distributes 65 tons of scouring powder/vim to the community to help them supplement their incomes.

According to Nikisi last year his company invested US$25 million into the 132/33 KVA power grid from Tokwe-Bikita. The powerline is meant to produce uninterrupted power to the Bikita, Gutu and Zaka communities.

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He also said that his company was working towards constructing a new Birchnough bridge with experts from China already in the country for feasibility studies.

He continued by saying that his company has invested over US$0.5 million in road rehabilitation to ensure the growth and development of the communities where it is extracting lithium resources.

“In 2023 we invested USD 25 million into the 132/33 KVA power grid from Tokwe-Bikita. The powerline will ensure uninterrupted power supply to Bikita, Gutu and Zaka. We have set aside USD 2 million for the rural electrification of Bikita, Gutu and Zaka.

“We also started feasibility studies for the construction of a new Birchenough bridge. Construction experts from China are in the country tying down the loose ends.

“In China, there is a popular saying which says if you want to get rich construct roads. At Bikita we have spent more than USD 500 000 towards road maintenance and rehabilitation programs. We have rehabilitated the Nyika-Kamungoma Road, Beardmore-Rusununguko and Bikita-Gutu Road. The objective is to ensure easy access to clinics, schools, administration centres and shopping centres,” Collin Nikisi said.

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