Open Cast mining throws a lifeline to HCCL

Staff Reporter

The commissioning of two open cast mines at Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL), JKL section and Chaba Opencast Pit, have thrown a lifeline to HCCL through increased production.

This publication managed to speak to economic analyst, Abednego Matsika, who indicated that obsolete equipment at HCCL has been a major impediment to high production.

“Apart from the fact that the continuous miner is an old model, whose spare parts are now hard to find, sanctions have also had a negative effect in that HCCL has faced challenges in replacing obsolete mining equipment with modern equipment, affecting production due to frequent breakdowns.

“The production output has been as low as 20 000 tonnes per month from a peak average of 350 000 tonnes per month,” said Matsika.

Meanwhile, production at JKL section has increased from an average of 30 000 tonnes per month to an average of 70 000 tonnes per month, while Chaba Opencast Pit is averaging 100 000 tonnes of coal per month.

In 2018, Government placed HCCL placed under Administration in order to save the company from collapse after it posted perennial losses in a number of successive years.