Muzarabani-Mbire oil exploration starts
By David Mwanza
The long awaited Invictus Energy Zimbabwe (IVZ)’s oil and gas exploration works targeting the Muzarabani and Mbire Districts of Mashonaland Central Province basin will soon commence after Government issued the company with an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) licence.
This was revealed by the company’s Managing Director, Mr Scott Macmillan in a press release this morning.
The announcement by Mr Macmillan, coming on the cherished Heroes Day makes the project win a special place in the hearts of many Zimbabweans and also feeds into the ZANU PF President and First Secretary Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa’s vison to create a US$12 billion mining sector economy by 2025.
“The company is very pleased to have the Environment Impact Assessment and our Environment Management Plan approved by EMA. The issuing of the EIA licence is a significant milestone for the Cabora Bassa Project and marks the progression from the primary desktop studies phase to the ground activity phase of our exploration campaign,” Macmillan.
He also paid credit to the ease of doing business mantra introduced by the New Dispensation, which he said had increased the appetite of the investors to complete the project in record time.
“The support and feedback we have received demonstrates the cooperation of stakeholders and shareholder who are all determined to advance this project for the benefit of the community and the country,” he said.
Macmillan further explained that “the approval of the Environmental Management Plan concludes the permitting requirements and enables the company to commence and undertake in the field including seismic acquisition and exploration drilling.
Macmillan said the EIA study was conducted by the Scientific Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC).
“The EIA survey conducted by SIRDC has been one of the most comprehensive surveys undertaken for an exploration project in the country and we thank them for their thorough and professional work.
“The EIA assessment included field surveys and baseline measurements of hydrology, ecology environment, archaeological, hydrological, soil surveys and socio-economic and community consultations of key stakeholders, local leaders, relevant government ministries,” said Macmillan.
Macmillan also said there was overwhelming community participation during the EIA information sessions.
“The company is also grateful for the reception and support we have received from the local community for the project to date and for our forward exploration programme. The community information sessions were well attended with up to 1,000 participants at some meetings.
“The local communities in the Muzarabani and Mbire Districts of Mashonaland Central Province have expressed their full support for the project,” he said.
Macmillan further revealed that consultations with Non-Governmental Organisations and private commercial players were successfully held and “… expressed their full support as well as identifying areas of potential future collaboration in the project area and with the local community programs.”
IVZ on its official website writes that the Cabora Bassa Basin in northern Zimbabwe, “seismically defined, and undrilled, it is also potentially the largest structure of its kind onshore Africa.
“The project has unique combination of low-cost entry, long dated and fairly low cost work commitments, given the onshore location with good infrastructure, substantial scale in terms of prospectivity and running room upon success, coupled with multiple monetisation pathways.”