HomeBusiness DigestHwange increases coal production by 1 000%

Hwange increases coal production by 1 000%

HWANGE Colliery Company Ltd (HCCL)has increased production to 300 000 metric tonnes per month in the third quarter from 30 000 metric tonnes in first quarter on the back of government capitalisation and turnaround strategies, businessdigest has established.

Melody Chikono

HCCL Managing Director Engineer Thomas Makore said the 1 000% increase in average tonne production was on the back of turnaround strategies that HCCL implemented together with government capitalisation.

“Our production was on average 30 000 mt per month in the first quarter of 2017, following the capitalisation, our production rose to 300 000 mt per month at the third quarter 2017,” Makore told businessdigest this week.

Overall coal output production jumped from a low of 30 000 mt per month in 2016 to 170 000 mt in May 2017 and 234 000 mt in June 2017 as turnaround strategies began to bear fruit.

Makore said other drivers of growth have been equipment repairs, maintenance, stabilisation and availability of working capital for production inputs as well as focused production.

Makore also pointed to their productivity improvement programme through the 100 days rapid results methodology and the resumption of production by their major mining contractor Mota Engil as other factors that contributed to the substantive increase in coal production. Hwange Colliery is also currently resuscitating its underground mining operations where high value coking coal is produced. Coking coal has demand in regional markets and is used to make coke which fetches a high price from ferro-chrome smelters, steel furnaces and foundries.

Makore said the firmness of coal and coke prices on the international markets will bolster the company’s turnaround implementation strategy.

“Domestic demand is also firm from major customers such as the national power utility (Zesa), industry and the tobacco sector,” he said

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last week commended Hwange’s efforts saying the performance was exceptional and was a success story in line with government’s efforts to increase revenue in the mining sector.

Government is targeting US$3 billion in mining revenue this year.

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