Hwange coal fires, international consultants in the country to assess

By Mhlomuli Ncube
THE Ministry of Mines and Mining Development has expressed satisfaction with the manner in which Hwange Colliery Company has handled the issue of underground coal fires.
Underground coal fires at Hwange Colliery have become a cause for concern ever since an eight-year old girl succumbed to coal fire burns late last year.
While the Hwange Colliery Company has clarified that underground fires are not peculiar to Zimbabwe, the looming danger cannot be ignored.
This saw the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Honourable Winston Chitando embarking on a fact finding mission at the coal mining town this Monday.
“Hwange has been operating for over 100 years and at one of its pits at number 2 there is a picture of that hole and of course it is well exaggerated but of course it’s a matter of concern and I applaud the management of Hwange Colliery who prior to reporting of that incident they had engaged DNT an international company which specialises in cases of this nature to come and look at possible exposures,” said Minister Chitando.
International consultants tasked with coming up with solutions are in the country to assess the situation.
They will fully investigate the cause of the fires and come up with recommendations after having done similar works in different parts of the world.