Kibo Mining Plans to Develop Tanzanian Coal for Power Generation

Kibo Mining Plc plans to develop a coal mine in southwestern Tanzania that is expected to feed a proposed power plant with the capacity to generate as much as 350 megawatts, Chief Executive Officer Louis Coetzee said.

Plans to step up exploration at the Rukwa deposit, 70 kilometers (44 miles) north of Mbeya city, and build a power-generation facility could take as long as two years after the government grants approval, he said in an interview by phone today from Cape Town.

A “major Asian conglomerate” has signed a memorandum of understanding to fund, construct and operate the plant, Coetzee said. He declined to identify the company until negotiations to convert the deal into a formal joint venture are complete.

“Our responsibility is to deliver a minimum amount of coal and theirs is the plant,” Coetzee said. “Subject to regulatory approval, we could have production in 36 months to 48 months.” The entire project at the Rukwa field, which holds an “indicated” 109 million metric tons of resources, will require investment of $550 million to $650 million, he said.

Coal and Uranium

Galway, Ireland-based Kibo acquired the Rukwa acreage when it took over Canadian company Mzuri Energy Ltd in September alongside South Africa’s Mayborn Resource Investments Ltd., which transferred its coal and uranium concessions to the explorer.

Tanzania vies with Mali as Africa’s third-largest gold producer and it is home to the world’s only known deposit of tanzanite, a gemstone previously only found in a small strip at at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak.

Kibo, which also has interests in gold and nickel projects in the East African nation, plans to spend 7 million pounds over the next two years on early-stage development, Coetzee said. Its plans also include searching for gold in Morogoro and around Lake Victoria and nickel exploration at Haneti in Tanzania’s east. Brazil-based Votorantim Group and Kibo are considering a partnership at Haneti, he said.

Kibo is listed on the London-based Alternative Investment Market, or AIM, as well as the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Ltd.’s altX exchange.

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