MAKOMO Resources Ltd says it will dedicate a lion’s share of its coal production to satisfying local demand in the second half of this year.
By Nkululeko Sibanda
The news is expected to come as a relief to some of the mining concern’s clients who have had to grapple with coal shortage challenges given production bottlenecks faced by other players in the sector.
The company’s managing director, Raymond Mutokonyi, told businessdigest this week there was an urgent need to ensure the local market demand was satisfied.
“We have been servicing the local market and balancing that with foreign market demand. This has happened at a time when there has been subdued production due to a number of factors,” he said.
“But we have had to make a decision to say the local market has to be prioritised going forward. We are dedicating ourselves to meeting the demands of the local market and after that we will consider the export market.”
The considerations come on the back of the company’s procurement of equipment that is expected to ramp up production.
“We have managed to finally bring in the new equipment that we have been talking about. This is significant as it will improve our production levels as we go towards the end of the year. Our view is that the third and fourth quarters should bring about a change in the fortunes of the company,” Mutokonyi said.
New equipment has been acquired, including trucks, excavators, dumpers, and front-end loaders.
“We have been given a lifeline by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe which has come through with some foreign currency. We had made a request for more money in foreign currency but the central bank came through and gave us what it could, given that there are other competing interests for the same foreign currency,” Mutokonyi said.
The company has forecast production levels of 200 000 tonnes by the end of the year.
Early this year, the Zimbabwe Independent reported that the coalminer had entered into a partnership agreement with the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) which would see it supply coal to ZPC Hwange Power Station’s units 7 and 8. Hwange Thermal Power Station is Zimbabwe’s major electricity plant with an installed capacity of 920 megawatts.