Zambezi Gas, a small coal miner in Hwange, has doubled production to 100 000 tonnes per month since it started operating nearly two years ago, the visiting Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines and Energy was told.
Its success contrasts sharply with the decline of the giant Hwange Colliery Company nearby, which was last month placed under administration due to gross mismanagement and looting.
Zambezi Gas shareholder Linos Masimura told the committee, which toured its operations at the weekend, that the company was registered in 2000, but started coal mining operations last year, with monthly production levels of only 50 000 tonnes, but has doubled that to 100 000 tonnes of coking, industrial and power coal.
“We are now aiming to take production levels to 250 000 tonnes per month, and 50% of our coal production goes to the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC),” Masimura said.
The company had plans to expand by ultimately raising production to around 400 000 tonnes per month and putting up a coke oven battery.
“We have gas existence in the concession, but we do not have the expertise on gas yet, and we are looking at technical partners to assist, but that line of business also needs further exploration,” Masimura said.
Zambezi Gas got a 19 720-hectare coal concession, but in 2009, rival Makomo Resources controversially occupied the area and began mining there when Obert Mpofu was Mines minister.
The committee made a recommendation during the Eighth Parliament that Zambezi Gas gets back its concession.
“The area was given to us before anyone knew that there was coal, and we proved that there was coal, but we cannot access it. We have written to the Mines ministry and given them all our submissions, and now we want to see when the final licence is granted,” Masimura said.
Other shareholders include former Mvurwi legislator Edward Raradza and his son Matthew.