Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa confirmed that 85 firms have applied for coal mining concessions in Matebeleland North. However, the minister also stated that it was not feasible to grant licences to all 85 firms due to concerns on environmental degradation.
The Minister said:
I have 85 applications for coal mining in Matebeleland North Province. How do you manage that…it’s not just conceivable.
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Matebeleland North Province is said to have the largest coal deposits in the country, with some of the deposits under the Hwange National Park.