The Sunday News
Fairness Moyana in Hwange
THE country is on course to achieving a US$1 billion coal industry following the coming in on-board of 10 new coal projects in Hwange and Binga districts, a Cabinet Minister has said.
This was revealed by the Minister of Mines and Mining Development, Winston Chitando during an interview on the sidelines of a tour of coal processing companies in Hwange on Friday.
“We have a US$12 billion target as mining industry by 2023. Of this, US$1 billion will be from coal and hydro carbons. We have over 10 coal projects in this area and today we are only visiting seven of those.
The first which we saw entails production of coke that will generate revenue of US$100m and two phases of commissioning, one in August and the other in December so we are well on track. The second project we saw which is also coke will be generating US$60m. We have this project which is a power project which will be consuming 300 000 tonnes of coal.
“There is also another coke project which will again generate US$100m, all these projects are in progress so for the US$1 billion for the coal industry we are way on course to achieve it. Same goes for the US$12 billion for the mining industry and I’m very pleased,” said Minister Chitando.
He said the Government was working on ensuring that the coal industry was competitive enough and target the export market.
“The coal industry has traditionally produced between 2-3 million tonnes per annum and in terms of what we are targeting which is 20 million tonnes. And for the industry to be competitive since we will be targeting mostly the export market we need to ensure that the logistics cost is managed so there is a need for an investment in terms of rail infrastructure from Hwange so that at least we manage the cost per tonne of coal.”
He added that Government through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development would facilitate that there is enough coal for power generation.
“The Minister of Finance (and Economic Development), in his mid-term policy gave an indication of some of the things being done to ensure the availability of coal to the power stations.
“Yes, there have been challenges as far as power is concerned but moving forward it’s an issue that has been resolved.
“It’s important to emphasise that the capital that is flowing in for us to achieve the $12 billion is through His Excellency’s “Zimbabwe is open for business” mantra which among other things entailed the scrapping of the Indigenisation laws that has held capital to flow in for us to target the $12b mining industry by 2023,” he said
Minister Chitando also toured South Mining’s coke expansion project whose first phase is set to be commissioned later this month.
He later toured Tutu Investments, a company that is constructing a coke oven battery and are eyeing to put 80 percent of its products on the export market.
Another project that is envisaged to contribute towards the attainment of the US$1 billion target by 2023 is Zimbabwe Zinghxon Electric Engineering (ZZEE).