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The 12 MW solar plant built to provide electricity to Caledonia Mining’s Blanket gold mine, in Zimbabwe, is operating better than expected and is generating slightly more power than was anticipated.

The plant currently provides about 27% of the mine’s average daily electricity demand. 

In recent months, there has also been a substantial improvement in the supply of power from the Zimbabwe grid, which has considerably reduced the amount of diesel consumed and has reduced the frequency of interruptions to production, Caledonia points out.

“As an initial early-stage indicator, in January, Blanket consumed 18 000 ℓ of diesel, which compares to approximately 120 000 ℓ a month for the whole of 2022,” comments CEO Mark Learmonth.

“While we can’t be certain that this quantum of improvement will be fully maintained as the year progresses, we are confident that we will continue to see an ongoing meaningful reduction to our diesel use month on month, fully justifying our investment in solar power and delivering on our environmental, social and governance strategy,” he adds.