Afrochine Energy

From Pindula

Afrochine Energy is a Chinese company of the Tsingashan Group of China that was awarded coal mining concession SG7263 that incorporates Deteema Dam and Masuna Dam.[1]

Background

Afrochine private limited is a subsidiary of Tsingshan Iron and Steel Group of China, the second largest stainless steel producer in that country. Afrochine Energy Corporation was involved in chrome smelting plant and poly bag manufacturing and then wanted to venture into power production in 2014. In 2014 they were to invest over $200 million for the development of a gas power plant in Kwekwe that was expected to generate 125 megawatts (MW) of power.[2]

Hwange National Park Coal Mining Activities

The coal mining environmental impact in Hwange emerged this week after Bhejane Trust, a wildlife conservation group published evidence that some Chinese companies were already "drilling core samples for coal" after the government "allocated (them) two coal mining concessions" in the middle of Hwange National Park.[3]

The Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) filed court papers warning that the park would turn into a "site for drilling, land clearance, road building and geological surveys" if coal exploration went ahead. And after the court application the Minister of Information, Monica Mutsvangwa, announced the ban on mining with immediate effect.[4]

The decision was reached following an urgent chamber application filed at the High Court by Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (ZELA) challenging the decision to grant concessions to Afrochine Energy and the Zimbabwe Zhongxin Coal Mining Group inside the Hwange National Park, and the government was left with no other option but to reverse its decision.

On 16 September 2020, Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Owen Tagu has struck off the roll a case where the Zimbabwe Environmental Law Association (Zela) and a Hwange resident sought to bar a Chinese mining firm, Zhongxin Mining Group Tongmao Coal Company (Pvt) Ltd (Zimbabwe Zhongxin Coal Mining Group), from conducting coal mining operations inside Hwange National Park.

“Having considered the papers filed of record, it would seem while the necessary paperwork was done, some appear to have been done after the special grants were issued. While the matter on the face of it appears urgent on that basis, the application still is improperly before the court because the relevant parties were not cited and there are material disputes of facts.

“I have been asked to dismiss the application, however I feel the appropriate action at this stage is to strike the matter off the roll of urgent matters in view of non-citations of relevant parties and the existence of material disputes of fact,” Justice Tagu ruled.[5]

References

  1. [1], New Zimbabwe, Published: 3 September, 2020, Accessed: 15 September, 2020
  2. Victoria Mtomba, [2], NewsDay, Published: 11 December, 2014, Accessed: 15 September, 2020
  3. Tawanda Karombo, [3], Quartz Africa, Published: 3 September, 2020, Accessed: 15 September, 2020
  4. [4], BBC, Published: 9 September, 2020, Accessed: 15 September, 2020
  5. Andrew Kunambura/Desmond Chingarande, [5], Newsday, Published: 16 September, 2020, Accessed: 16 September, 2020