HomeBusiness DigestHwange in barter deal with Chinese

Hwange in barter deal with Chinese

Ndamu Sandu

COAL miner Hwange Colliery Company Ltd (HCCL) has entered into a barter deal with China North Industries Corporation (Norinco) to export coal and coke in return for coal haulage trucks and earth

moving equipment from the Chinese firm, businessdigest heard this week.

The equipment would be used in the coal miner’s expansion project to increase the production of coal and coke.

HCCL managing director Godfrey Dzinomwa said the coal miner is set to export coke and coal to Norinco and at the same time import earthmoving equipment and haulage trucks.

“We are starting exporting in April to Norinco’s smelter in Democratic Republic of Congo. Hwange will import the equipment in the second half of the year,” Dzinomwa said.

The coal and coke from Zimbabwe would be used to fire smelters in the DRC with the end products being shipped to China. Dzinomwa said HCCL was also exploring the logistics of exporting coal and coke to China.

Dzinomwa said discussions were still underway adding that HCCL would work with Norinco as trade partners and progress to joint ventures once discussions are concluded.

Dzinomwa said HCCL and Norinco had defined “their requirements and put the framework together” to enable the trade but was optimistic that HCCL “would give as much as it could in the deal”.

HCCL and Norinco signed a memorandum of understanding last year and officials from the Chinese firm toured the mine in December last year.

Dzinomwa said HCCL was in constant discussions with officials from Norinco offices in the country.

HCCL exports to South Africa, Zambia, Malawi and the Democratic Republic of Congo with inquiries from China and India. Dzinomwa said HCCL was working on measures to meet all its requirements locally.

HCCL is currently undergoing a turnaround programme to halt the declining coal production.

The 3 Main Underground Mine was opened last month and will produce 50 000 tonnes of coal per month in the initial stages. The production is expected to rise to 100 000 and then 150 000 at its peak.

Dzinomwa said plans were underway to recapitalise the current opencast mine operations and the commissioning of a coal fines recovery plant.

Dzinomwa said the recapitalisation would need US$8,7 million. On the sources of the funding, Dzinomwa said the money would come from various sources including financiers and internal sources among others.

HCCL is listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, London Stock Exchange and JSE Securities Exchange.

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