China-Africa Sunlight Energy was exploring coal and coal-bed methane in Gwayi with a view of establishing a power station capable of producing 120 Megawatts (MW) of electricity.
However, Radio VOP was told in an interview that the mining company has failed the EIA conducted by the government Environmental Management Agency (EMA) which has since called on China-Africa Sunlight Energy to cease operations.
“The company has been ordered to cease operations until it is issued with an EIA certificate by EMA,” EMA provincial manager Chipo Zuze Mpofu said.
“The company submitted an EIA report to the agency and the report was rejected because it did not have sufficient information.
“The company has been ordered to re-submit a fresh report and until then China-Africa Sunlight Energy will not be conducting any exploration in coal and coal-bed methane in Gwayi.”
Several exploration studies revealed coal bed methane depots had capacity to produce 300MW of electricity.
Coal bed methane is seen as an alternative source of clean energy, in a country faced with acute power shortages.
The development of the Lupane coal bed methane gas project has potential to boost the country’s energy generation capacity.
Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) is producing about 1 200MW against national demand of 2200MW which has resulted in the load-shedding across the country.