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African governments commit

Wednesday, October 30th, 2019

African governments have committed themselves to expedite coal beneficiation strategies and convert the resource to other facets of their economies as the deadline for total ban of the use of coal in thermal power generation nears. The plan was revealed by Mines and Mining Development Deputy Minister Polite Kambamura, who led the Zimbabwean delegation to this year’s edition of the Africa Mining Summit that was held in Botswana. The decision comes in the wake of a 2015 pledge by world leaders, under the Paris Agreement, which seeks to keep global warming since pre-industrial times to 1, 5 degrees Celsius and scientist have noted that this can only be achieved through banning of coal that is the largest polluting fossil fuel. The agreement gives developed countries a deadline of 2030 to stop the use of coal for electricity generation, while the developing world has up to 2050 to find other energy sources. The ban threatens the future of coal mining industry in Zimbabwe given that most of the companies (Hwange Colliery, Makomo Resources, Zambezi Gas)’s major customer is Zesa and there appears to be little investment in alternative use of coal such as diesel and coalbed methane gas extraction.

Deputy Minister Kambamura said African mining sector leaders who attended the Africa Mining Summit had committed to mitigate effects of an impending ban. “The other area of discussion was on energy – the energy generation mix of the future given that the energy minerals that we have in Africa like coal (and) uranium on what role they will play in the future versus renewable sources of energy,” said the Deputy Minister.

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