Hwange Colliery Eyes Regional Markets As Foreign Shortages Persist

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By Alois Vinga

THE worsening foreign currency shortages in the country have pushed Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) to target six regional market destinations as part of the coal miner’s strategy to remain productive, and export earnings.

Presenting a trading update this week, HCCL acting company secretary, Rugare Dhobbie said exports to the six countries will improve the firm’s performance.

“We are currently, on an export drive to improve export earnings and the company is targeting regional markets such as Zambia, DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Botswana, and South Africa and must overcome poor logistics to benefit from these markets,” she said.

Dhobbie said engagements with key logistical partners such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) and other regional railway operators are on-going to ensure the whole value chain is efficient, and HCCL coal remains competitive on the export market.

She added; “The operating environment continued to be challenging and has been characterised by high inflation, fuel shortages and shortage of foreign currency.

“The company has obsolete and redundant machinery due to insufficient foreign currency as a result of low retention and low export volumes as well as poor interbank forex availability.”

HCCL also bemoaned the impact behind the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic which has slowed down production due travel restrictions imposed globally.

Dhobbie’s trading update comes shortly after the coal miner recorded a loss of $91 million due to Zimbabwe’s policy directive which formalised the repayment of debts accrued during the US dollar era on a 1:1 basis against the local currency.