- July 17, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
HWANGE Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) is on the rebound as evidenced by steady improvement in monthly output after Government rescued the firm from collapse by putting it under temporary administration, Acting Managing Director, Dr Charles Zinyemba, said yesterday.
He told President Emmerson Mnangagwa during a tour of the company’s Chaba Mine that HCCL was in a state of collapse at the start of administration in October 2018, as creditors were swooping on it through a string of litigations. Workers had also gone for several months without pay.
“Production had virtually collapsed and we are grateful to His Excellency and his Government for rescuing this company by putting it under administration,” he said.
“Total Hwange production at the moment stands at 170 000 tonnes per month.”
With the interventions being implemented under the guidance of Government, Dr Zinyemba said production was going to rise to 225 000 tonnes per month by year end with plans to ramp it up even further.
“This year Hwange projects to mine 1,8 million tonnes of which 945 000 tonnes will be coming from Chaba Mine and the balance will come from the other two mines,” he explained.
HCCL has three mines, one underground mine and two open cast mines. These are underground Three Main Mine and two open cast mines, JKL and Chaba. Dr Zinyemba said Chaba, for instance, was producing 100 000 tonnes per month half of which goes to Hwange Power Station while 30 000 tonnes of that goes to industries and small thermal stations with the remaining 20 000 tonnes being coking coal for the coke batteries.
“The Chaba pit is designed to produce 200 000 tonnes per month. Our new contractor is currently contracted to mine 100 000 tonnes monthly, this can be ramped up over a period of about three months to the design capacity of 200 000 tonnes,” he said.
“Our second open cast mine the JKL pit, which at the time of administration was not producing anything, is now producing 45 000 tonnes per month half of which goes to Hwange Power Station and the other half being coking coal also for the coking batteries.
“We are putting in place interventions to increase that output to 90 000 tonnes per month by year end.”
Dr Zinyemba said under ground mining, which had also stopped at the time administration was put in place was now producing an average of 25 000 tonnes per month of coking coal for the coke batteries and interventions were underway to increase that to 35 000 tonnes per month by year end.
He said Chaba reserves alone were projected to last eight years while JKL reserves will last about five years.
“The three mine reserves will last 40 years at current mining rate, which will be reduced to 20 years should our plans to increase the underground mining sections to three succeed,” said Dr Zinyemba.
“We plan to resuscitate our coke oven battery. Thank you for the support you have been giving to HCCL.”
In his remarks President Mnangagwa said he was delighted that HCCL was coming on board again with evidence on output growth. He paid tribute to Dr Zinyemba and his team for transforming the fortunes of the strategic entity.
“It was a disgrace for this country for Zimbabwe or Hwange to import coal from neighbouring countries when we have abundant coal in this country. There are several other sites unexploited but because of lack of planning or mere sabotage.
“You find that Hwange Colliery Company had reached a stage where it was not able to support itself in the midst of plenty. I’m proud that the programme we have instituted has been implemented,” said the President.
He also commended the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development for guiding operations in the coal sector with indications showing positive prospects.
“I have no doubt that we will achieve a US$12 billion mining sector by 2023. We are at about US$2 billion but in three years from now we should be at US$12 billion, just one sector,” said the President.
“This should have been done a long time back but we were not focusing at the resources at our disposal.”
He challenged the colliery management to ensure restoration of jobs and transformation of the community as benefits of exploiting their natural resource.
“These are resources at their disposal in their areas, they must see benefit from the exploitation of the resources in their area.
“Let me assure you support from my administration is 100 percent as long as I see that you are patriotic and committed to developing our country,” said President Mnangagwa.