Daniel Nemukuu, Bureau for Harare
South Africa's mining firm Tumagole Consortium says it is committed to investing $ 55 billion in a coal mining project in Lupane.
Officials of the Tugagol consortium, led by the South African ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Mfhhamama Mbete, yesterday courted the vice-president Constantino Chiheng.
The company, which began operating a gas project under a non-binding agreement, said that if it gets a bond agreement, it will invest more in Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Mbete told reporters after a meeting that his country is interested in signing mining agreements with Zimbabwe.
"The purpose of the meeting was to discuss with Vice President Chiwenga possible additional investment with Zimbabwe in the field of mining.
"Today, we brought a company called Tumagole Consortium to meet with the Vice President. They are in the mining," he said.
Natural gas reserves were discovered in the Lupan-Lubumbi district, Matabeleland North, a few decades ago, but commercial exploitation has not retreated.
Since then, research and pilot production have been carried out and proven that the resource can be exploited commercially for domestic and industrial use.
The representative of the Tumagole Consortium, Mr. Thapelo Tshephe, said his company is ready to inject up to $ 55 billion in the Lupan pipeline project.
He said the company intends to invest 100 million euros in the first two years.
"This is a very good project if we can get an agreement on a binding agreement. We will be able to introduce at least 100 million in the next two years, although the total investment is about 55 billion dollars.
"We already have liabilities from the South African banks. We will also get technical support from large companies like Sasol," he said.
Mr Cefe said Tumagol had already begun to work on the project pending a binding agreement.
"The meeting with Vice President Civenga was in line with the CBP project in the area of Lupane. We have already worked there, but now we need a binding agreement," said Chefe.
"We will be able to supply gas with nine neighboring countries, which will help Zimbabwe become independent in terms of electricity and gas supplies."
Ambassador Mbete said Zimbabwe and South Africa discussed how to boost co-operation in all areas of development.
"The talks began in December last year, on the day of boxing, between the two countries' finance ministers and the governors of the two reserve banks.
"The talks were about possible cooperation between the two countries and it is important to note that the ministers and governors met under the instructions of the two presidents.
"The talks are sensitive and very strategic, so we will inform the world and the media about progress. They are so sensitive that at this point they are handled only at the level of ministers," he said.