Golden Sibanda Senior Business Reporter
MAKOMO Resources, the country’s largest coal producer, is scaling up production by 50 percent to meet increased demand from its main off taker.Company Director, Mr Ray Mutokonyi said in an interview yesterday that Makomo is up-scaling production to between 90 000 and 120 000 tonnes per month.
Mr Mutokonyi said production had briefly declined when its main off-taker, Zimbabwe Power Company, put two of its coal-fired generation units at Hwange Power Station out for scheduled maintenance.
“Some of their machinery was under scheduled maintenance, because of that we responded accordingly. If your main off-taker is taking less you produce to order, but we are up-scaling,” said Mr Mutokonyi.
He said that the coal miner was geared to give the State-owned power generation utility the volumes it required in terms of coal supply.
Its supply depends on ZPC’s demand for coal at any given moment.
Mr Mutokonyi said that Makomo’s coal supply to its main off-taker on average constituted 60 percent of its production. The company was mulling retrenching some of its 550 workers, as demand declined.
“The challenge was that orders from the main customer were low and we were producing to order while we develop the export market,” he said.
The Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and South Africa are some of the countries in the region Makomo Resources is targeting while international export markets would include China and India.
Makomo general manager Mr Samson Mabvira recently said the installation of a third screening and crushing plant would further increase production to 300 000 tonnes per month by the end of the year.
It is hoped that once production reaches 300 000 tonnes per month, the company will penetrate regional and international markets.
Makomo Resources (Pvt) Limited, is a coal mining company in the Bulawayo Mining District of Zimbabwe, with its mineral resource at Entuba Colliery, which is situated approximately 17 kilometres from the Hwange, Matabeleland North province of the country.
It is the largest coal producer in Zimbabwe. Its concession covers 7 000 hectares, which enables the mining concern to carry out open cast mining for the next 30 years at one million tonnes per annum plus another 100 years of underground mining.
The coal producer has taken advantage of the production challenges at the country’s oldest coal miner, Hwange Colliery Limited.
Hwange has in recent years been beset by serious funding challenges that prompted the company to rope in contract miner, Mota-Engil. Production has since improved at the listed coal miner.