Daniel Nemukuyu, Harare's office
South African mining company Tumagole Consortium said it has pledged $ 55 billion to invest in the coal mining project in Lupana.
Officials of the Tumagol Consortium, led by South African Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr. Mphakama Mbete, yesterday called on Vice President Constantine Chiwengi.
The company, which has started working on a gas project under a non-binding contract, says that if it gets a binding contract, invest more in Zimbabwe.
Ambassador Mbete told reporters after a meeting that his country wanted to sign a Zimbabwe-based mining agreement.
"The purpose of the meeting was to talk to Vice President Chiweng about possible further investments from Zimbabwe into the mining area.
"Today, we've brought Tumagola Consortium to meet with vice president. They are in mining, "he said.
Natural gas reserves were discovered in the Lupane-Lubimbi area, North Matabeleland, some decades ago, but commercial exploitation was not taken.
Since then research and pilot production has been carried out and it has been proven that the resource can be commercially used for household and industry.
Representative of the Consortium of Tumagol, Mr. Thapelo Tshephe, said his company was ready to inject up to $ 55 billion into the Lupana gas project.
He said the company intends to invest 100 million RM in the first two years.
"This is a very good project if we can make a binding contract. In the next two years we will be able to import at least 100 million kunas, although the total investment is about 55 billion.
"We already have liabilities from South African banks. We will also get technical support from large companies such as Sassol, "he said.
Sheff said that Tumagola had already started working on the project in anticipation of getting a binding contract.
"The meeting with VP Chiwenga was in line with the CBM project in the area of Lupana. We have already done some work there, but we now need a binding agreement, "Mr Tshephe said.
"We will be able to supply gas to nine neighboring countries. This will help Zimbabwe to become independent in terms of electricity and gas supplies. "
Ambassador Still said that Zimbabwe and South Africa are discussing how to strengthen co-operation in all areas of development.
"The talks began last December, on the day of boxing, between the finance ministers of both countries and the governors of the two reserve banks.
"Talks concerned possible co-operation between the two countries, and it is important to note that ministers and governors met at the behest of two presidents.
"Talks are sensitive and very strategic. So we will inform the world and the media of progress. They are so sensitive that they are only being handled at ministerial level at the moment, "he said.