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Hwange Colliery resuscitating underground mining operations

13/08/2017 00:00:00
by Staff reporter

Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) is scheduled to start underground mining operations after the delivery of its coal extraction machine, Continuous Miner (CM).

The key equipment was delivered at the mine Sunday from neighbouring South Africa where it had gone for refurbishment at the cost of $1 million.  

The Continuous Miner is an extraction machine.

HCCL had projected to start mining coke at the end of April.

The company has been failing to service its debts, currently at $350 million due to low exports. HCCL is currently producing 55 000 tonnes of coal per month down from 200 000 tonnes when it is operating at full capacity.

In a statement, HCCL managing director Engineer Thomas Makotore described the delivery as a “milestone” saying the company’s strategic turnaround was now in motion.

“Delivery of the other machines is expected in the next six weeks. Barring any delays, production is expected to commence in the last quarter of the year,” said Eng Makotore.

“Underground mining operations will enhance the product mix offering of Hwange Colliery, thereby improving the overall profitability and quality of the revenue.”

He added, “Underground mining is where we produce high value coking coal, so it will be a good addition to our product mix.  It will improve our profitability and add to our volumes.”

Hwange Colliery’s export quality coking coal will contribute to the company’s foreign currency revenues.

The company’s turnaround strategy is anchored on increasing production and sales as it takes advantage of the recently approved Scheme of Arrangement.

HCCL managing director Makotore went on to say the company will continue on this path to make sure that it turns its fortunes and builds on its rich legacy of successful and sustainable operations for over 115 years.

Recently, the coal miner selected a European Company to conduct exploration and drilling at its new concession in Western Areas in Hwange.

“The company has finished the selection process and is finalising the contract,” said Makotore.

“The new concessions have an estimated underground resource of about one billion tonnes according to preliminary reports.”


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