ZIMBABWE’S second largest coal mining company, Makomo Resources has completed installing a $14 million coal washing plant which would treble its annual output.
“We are now done and we are just putting final touches. A test run will be done by March 10 and by the end of this month we will be in full production,” general manager Samson Mabvira said on Monday.
The plant was acquired from South Africa.
Makomo, a company jointly owned by local and foreign investors on a 60:40 basis, has already started exploring regional markets in anticipation of increased coke production once the washing plant is running.
“Processing coal will increase our competitiveness in the market. It is also part of our expansion programme and our first step to process some of the coal we are mining into coke,” Mabvira said.
He said they were running three crushers at the mine, producing an average of 100 000 tonnes per month, with the capacity to treble the output once the coal washing plant starts running.
The mine also produces coal peas for small power stations, cobbles for tobacco farmers, rounds and nuts for the cement manufacturing industry.
Makomo is one of the five private firms which were awarded licences by government to mine coal in the Matabeleland North province.
Another new mine in the province is operated by China Africa Sunlight Energy, which has begun work on a 600 megawatt (MW) thermal power station and coal mine at a cost of $1,3 billion on its Gwayi concessions.
The two projects are the first phase of the $2,1 billion project which would eventually include a 2 200MW thermal power station, a gas extraction plant and a coal brick factory among others.
The projects are being funded by China Exim Bank, which has completed due diligence. The coal mine is expected to produce 300 million metric tonnes of thermal coal per annum. A coking plant and a coal washer would also be set up to add value and to generate additional income.
— The Source