Manganese mine in Botswana looking at solar options

20 Jan 2021

Botswana’s manganese mining site will soon have a solar plant, built by Canada-based Giyani Metals, with capacities ranging from 14 to 60 MW being considered. 

The Canadian company, which owns the K.Hill manganese project in southern Botswana, will be building a solar park that may be consumed by the mine or a different grid.

Giyani Metals Corp is considering building the PV plant in three different scenarios. The first option would be a “no-export” 14 MW project which would not include the storing or sale of excess power generated by the facility. Another option is a “net-zero annual generation” 60 MW scheme or a “transition into IPP” 48 MW project.

The first scenario project would have an estimated cost of $10.5 million, whereas the others would cost $44.9 million and $34.9 million respectively. 

Giyani Metals Corp stated, “The solar plant study concluded that despite each option delivering operating cost savings to K.Hill, compared to using 100% grid power, it is recommended to initially implement scenario one, with the view to upgrading to either scenario two or three as a second phase once regulatory approval is granted.”

Botswana only had 3 MW of installed PV power by the end of 2020, according to statistics from the International Renewable Energy Agency.