Hwange Colliery Company sets eyes on record coal output

By Mhlomuli Ncube

HWANGE Colliery Company is confident of ramping up production, with the coal-mining firm targeting more than three million tonnes of coal this year, buoyed by government’s administration plan.

The period prior to 2018 was a crunch moment for the company whose debt was ballooning, with employees going for more than 30 months without salaries.

However, government as the largest shareholder took a bold step to place the company under administration.

The reconstruction process has yielded huge rewards and this has seen the company increase production threefold from bellow one million in 2018 to an anticipated three million tonnes this year.

“Before inception of administration, production levels were around less than a million tonnes per year, but now the projections for 2022 are seating at 3,5 million tonnes,” said Engineer Blackie Mhatiwa, Hwange Colliery Company managing director.

But what exactly has been the turnaround strategy for the country’s largest coal producer?

“When administration came in, we managed to recapitalise our operations to the tune of more than US$7 million to improve our operating efficiencies. We also concentrated on outsourcing some of the mining activities and also concentrated on cost control,” he said.

In the matrix of contributing to the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023, the coal producer sees its role as much bigger than just mining.

Its product is supplying the local power station, other coke producers and expected to support the Manhize Steel Plant currently under construction in Mvuma.