obert mpofu 01-11-10.jpgMines and Mining Development Minister, Cde Obert Mpofu says the coal mining sector will soon be opening up for exports as the domestic market is quickly becoming flooded due to new players who have penetrated the sector.

 

In an interview with ZBC News, Cde Obert Mpofu said the government’s initiatives to allow more players in the coal mining sector have begun to bear fruit.

 

This is mainly because coal prices have been stabilized, while the quantities of coal supplies have been significantly increased in the domestic market.

 

He however said, while the challenges of coal supplies are now a thing of the past, the country’s biggest coal supplier Hwange Colliery will need to be supported by the government to enable it to recapitalise and improve capacity utilisation.

 

He said the ministry will be dealing with dormant shareholders who have left the burden on the state.

 

“All those coal users are fully supplied with coal, provided they pay for it. Very soon we shall be opening up for exports to those that cannot sell their coal locally. We are extremely happy with what`s happening in the coal sector,” said Cde Mpofu.

 

Earlier this year, the sector projected an increase in demand for coal by up to 70% by the end of the year following a continued recovery in the industry and tobacco sector with the refurbishments of thermal power stations also triggering a higher demand for power generation.

 

ZESA and ZISCO are some of the biggest coal consumers in the domestic market while the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Tanzania are some of the biggest consumers of the product in the regional market.

Coal demand currently stands at 47%.