Harare(New Ziana) – Coal production in Zimbabwe is anticipated to leap to 15 million tons next year as new producers come on stream while existing ones are also expected to raise their output, a Cabinet Minister has said.
Zimbabwe boasts of huge coal deposits in Matabeleland North province where companies such as Hwange Colliery and Makomo Resources are active.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando said production was expected to rise as several new coal mining projects were lined up.
“Traditionally we produce about 3 million tons of coal per annum. This year we expect that we will produce just about 4 million tons, but the installed capacity for coal production by next year will be 15 million tons per annum,” he said.
“We have Liberation Mining around the Gwai area, they already have the full equipment which has been installed (but) there have been a few administrative issues relating to their production but they will begin production in the new year.”
Chitando said the government was working on developing a coal export corridor running from Matabeleland North as part of efforts to develop the coal sector.
“Initiatives for the establishment of a coal corridor and a port for exports will be intensified working together with the Ministry of Transport,” he said.
He said the agreement signed with Dubai-based company Victoria Consultant, would assist in boosting production and to secure coal export markets.
“The agreement with Victoria Consultant provides for it to source markets as well as capital for the expansion of coal (projects),” he said.
Zimbabwe, which started coal production in the early 1900s, has an estimated 25 billion tons of coal reserves.
The country, which says its abundant mineral resources include more than 40 exploitable minerals, is seeking to maximise mineral exploitation to reboot its economy.