Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) has expressed satisfaction with its 2017 performance where coal production levels increased to 1.3 million tonnes up from 969 000 tonnes extracted in 2016.

After experiencing challenges with equipment HCCL’s coal production levels were reduced to 40 000 tonnes per month in 2016, but the year 2017 saw an improvement to as high as 300 000 tonnes per month.

The company is now pinning its hopes on getting funding to acquire more equipment to further production levels and sustain its sales.

Exports to Zambia, South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo are expected to account for 25 percent of the sales.

Hwange Colliery managing director Engineer Thomas Makore said improved production of coking coal so that it becomes proportional to power and industrial coal production levels is top on the 2018 agenda.

“As we go forward we want to push to a production of 400 000 tonnes a month. The 400 000 tonnes per month will be from our own production as well as from our contractor. We also want to improve the mix of production. That 300 000 tonnes was mainly power coal and industrial coal. As we go forward, we want to have a third being coking coal,” he said.

The HCCL management believes improved production will enhance its ability to carry out corporate social responsibility programmes which have become an integral part of the organisational survival in the highly competitive coal mining sector.

The company is currently working with the National Railways of Zimbabwe to craft new strategies that will ease the movement of coal to various markets locally.