The country’s biggest coal miner by output, Makomo Resources has seen a 27% plunge in coal output for the nine months to September attributed to the challenges in securing foreign currency on the inter-bank market for purchasing critical  spare parts as well as the unreliable fuel supply.

“Makomo has not been immune to the challenges that the mining sector has been facing as a whole. Despite efforts to ramp up production, we are actually 27% down from last year.” says the company’s Resources Technical Manager Pathi Nkomo.

As part of short term measures to address the spare parts challenges the coal-miner says it has entered into an agreement with a local supplier which will enable the mining concern to procure the much-needed equipment in local currency.

Despite the current setbacks being experienced by the mining sector, Zimbabwe which is home to an estimated 25 billion tonnes of coal reserves is optimistic of creating a 1 billion dollar coal and hydro-carbons industry by 2023 to be driven by increased investments in the sector and ramping of production at the existing mines.