ZIMBABWE’S largest coal mine Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) said Friday it has contracted German-based company DTM to help extinguish underground coal seam fires.
“DTM is the only company, which offered its services for managing the fires using modern and cost-effective methods among other companies, which HCCL consulted,” HCCL Managing Director Charles Zinyemba said in a statement.
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, DTM’s necessary interventions have been postponed from November to the first quarter of 2022, Zinyemba said.
As a precautionary measure, awareness campaigns were and will continue to be carried out in schools and villages, with help from tribal leaders, he said.
Communities near the affected areas were and will continue to be informed of temporary measures to manage risks, he said.
The HCCL has also put in place a drone that has a thermal camera for security purposes and identification of underground fires, he added.
An 8-year-old girl reportedly died after falling into one of the fire pits this year.