Hwange Colliery Company Ltd. has applied for permits to explore for coalbed methane in three areas of Zimbabwe, according to Harare-based Zimbabwean.

According to industry experts, it is estimated that Zimbabwe is home to a wide stretch of coalbed methane deposits in its northern region. Spurred by these estimates, Hwange Colliery has already collected enough equipment to break ground on the first extraction site.

Due to the increased awareness of alternative and unconventional plays, Hwange Colliery has experienced an upswing in interest that has allowed it to diversify its business objectives and secure more substantial projects.

The company’s initial coalbed-methane project is estimated to take about two years and cost approximately $25 million.