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MAKOMO Resources’ production has plunged by about 40 percent as the coal miner struggles to raise adequate foreign currency to refurbish its broken down machinery and purchase new equipment, an official said.
Makomo managing director Mr Raymond Mutokonyi said the company has experienced a significant slide in its output this year compared to last year due to failure to procure spares to repair its equipment as well as acquiring new machinery to maintain or scale up its production.
“Our production was hovering between 230 000 to 250 000 tonnes per month last year yet today we have come down to about 38 to 37 percent due to machinery challenges, which is of maintaining and bringing in new equipment because of the forex challenges. It has affected our output in a big way,” he said.
In 2013, Makomo became the country’s largest thermal coal producer, overtaking Hwange Colliery Company Limited, which is facing viability challenges. Mr Mutokonyi said the company was struggling to satisfy both the local and export market owing to a drastic drop in production.
“We are experiencing challenges in satisfying both the local and export market. We have been servicing the export market for the past four years now, but we have also been affected by this production challenge. We are servicing albeit at a lesser scale than previously achieved,” he said.
Makomo exports coking coal to Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi. Mr Mutokonyi confirmed that Zesa Holding’s subsidiary, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC) managed to offset its debt to the company, which had ballooned to about $30 million due to non-payment over the past few years.
“We are happy that they have eventually paid through TBs (Treasury Bills) early this year, so we are happy to say that in terms of being up to date they have managed to do so but our plea is that going forward they will be able to pay for the coal that they take on time .