Hwange Colliery resumes underground mining

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HWANGE Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) has resumed underground mining operations at its 3 Main mine after taking delivery of crucial equipment.

The company, which had suspended its underground operations in 2015 after its Continuous Miner (CM) broke down, recently received various equipment that included the repaired CM, two shuttle cars and other consumables. The colliery’s 3 Main Underground mine is the company’s cash cow producing quality coal used to produce coke and other products destined for the export market.

Briefing the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando, during a recent meeting with coal producers, HCCL acting managing director, Dr Charles Zinyemba, said the company had since resumed its underground operations.

“Honourable Minister, I’m glad to inform you that as part of the company’s turnaround initiatives we have resumed our underground mining at 3 Main. We have since taken delivery of the Continuous Miner that had gone for repairs in South Africa. We have also received two out of three shuttle cars and some other related equipment,” said Dr Zinyemba.

He said they were currently producing 35 000 tonnes per month, which they planned to double against an installed capacity of 50 000t.

“Our current production volumes at 3 Main are 35 000t of coking coal per month and we plan to increase it to 50 000t by year end. At Chaba Opencast mine production will be ramped up from the current 75 000t per month of thermal coal to 110 000t next month. We are also planning to acquire two more CMs to ensure we increase production to the desired levels,” said Dr Zinyemba.

According to the Hwange Coal Producers’ Association, of which HCCL is a member, the sector has pledged to double their production volumes in support of the one billion dollar coal mining target that will contribute to the attainment of the $12 billion mining industry by 2023.

Makomo Resources general manager, Mr Kudakwashe Nyabonda, said with the necessary support they had the capacity to increase production from the current 85 000t per month to 120 000t. Zambezi Gas, which is churning 60 000t, has indicated that it will double production. Meanwhile, Galpex, who are producing 20 000t, said they did not have the capacity to ramp up production. Minister Chitando is on record as saying the country is on course to achieving the $12 billion mining industry by 2023.–chroncile.co.w

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