HWANGE Colliery Mine needs around $50 million to fix the coke oven batteries which process coking coal that can be sold at $300 000 per tonne to make the company profitable, the colliery company scheme chairperson Andrew Lawson said.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
Lawson appeared before the Temba Mliswa-led Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Mines together with Mines minister Winston Chitando, where he was asked by MPs to explain if there was a chance that the coal miner, which has been placed under reconstruction, can tick again.
“I have been advised that the coke oven batteries will need $50 million to fix, so that we will be in a position to produce beneficiated coking coal at $300 000 per tonne,” Lawson said.
“There is also a further benefit in that the gas generated can be used for powering of the Zesa plant, because currently Zesa is spending $20 million per year importing diesel.”
Lawson said for the Hwange Colliery Company turnaround to be quick, the focus should be on repairs of some of the obsolete infrastructure.
He said in order to start everything working on all the Hwange Colliery concessions, an investment of $500 million was needed.
Lawson said it was also imperative to separate the management of Hwange town from mining, adding that the $23 million losses posted by the colliery in six months this year were due to operational costs of the town, rather than mining.
“There is need to be two totally separate entities for Hwange Town and the mine with a completely different management. The $23 million losses were administrative costs for the town. With underground mining and the coking ovens working, I believe that Hwange Colliery can survive. A lot of attention is being paid on the town than the mine,” he said.
The scheme chairperson said if mining is not viable, then Hwange was under threat to become another ghost mining town.