HWANGE Colliery Mine is set to increase its production by over 100 000 tonnes following the delivery of a US$ 2,5 million continuous miner machine from South Africa earlier
The new mining machine arrived in the country three weeks ago and will boost production levels at the country’s sole coal mine.
The new machine will see Hwange Colliery Company opening an underground mine after the closure of another last year in October.
The company currently produces 50 000 tonnes in its open cast mines.
HCC managing director, Godfrey Dzinomwa, said the acquisition of the continuous miner was set to boost coal production in the country.
“We are looking at surpassing domestic demand. We are hoping by June this year we will start exporting coal to the region,” Dzinomwa told journalists at the end of a strategic turnaround workshop.
The opening of the new underground mine is likely to improve the coal supply situation as most industry customers have complained in the past of inadequate supplies.
Questioned on reports that power utility Zesa was venturing into coal mining, Dzinomwa said this was not a threat to them at all.
“The development will be a good challenge for Hwange Colliery and we will take it as a challenge. We are not scared of losing a major customer but we have enough reserves to accommodate another player on the market,” he said.
Dzinomwa said the country had enough reserves to last Zimbabwe over 25 years.
Addressing journalists at the same function, a company board member, Tinaye Chigudu, said HCC was currently operating at 70 % capacity from a machine availability of 54%.
Chigudu dispelled allegations that there was bad blood between HCC and the RBZ.
“There is definitely no bad blood between the RBZ and the HCC. I am in constant touch with Gideon Gono and there is absolutely no problem between HCC and the RBZ,” he said.
The RBZ recently froze all tariff increases that the HCC was mulling and later ordered an investigation into the operations of the coal mine.