Zambezi Gas has secured a full mining licence for 25 years and plans to increase coal production from the current 60,000 tonnes per month to 150,000 tonnes.
The miner, which is based in Hwange ventured into the $12 million coal mining operation in 2014 and has been operating with a short-term licence.
Zambezi Gas chief executive, Thomas Nherera said his company has over the years increased production from 20,000 tonnes per month when it started.
“We’ve secured a full mining licence covering 25 years and this will see us increasing our production from the current 60,000 tonnes of coal per month to 150,000 tonnes depending on the market needs. When we started mining, we were producing around 20,000 tonnes per month,” he said.
Zambezi Gas was granted special gas and coal concessions in 2003 and 2007. The concession at Ethuba covers 19,000 hectares with over 200 million tonnes of coal reserves, but lack of technical and financial resources over the years, delayed mining activities.
The mine is involved in open cast mining operations employs about 60 people.
“For now we are focusing on open cast mining and we will do underground operations at a later stage. We produce coal for the local and export markets.”
Due to low capacity utilisation levels in the manufacturing sector, local demand for coal has been subdued, prompting the miners to pursue export markets to boost revenues.
“We export our product to Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo while locally we supply to thermal power stations, the agriculture sector as well as other customers in different sectors who use coal,” he said.