Oliver Kazunga–Bulawayo Bureau
CONSTRUCTION of Afrochine Dinson Colliery’s coking coal and coke oven battery projects in Hwange under the first phase is now complete with the US$30 million investment creating 300 jobs.
In April, the company announced that it had started heating up its furnace in preparation for the start of metallurgical coke production. The firm, a subsidiary of Chinese-owned steel producer, Tsingshan Holding Group, is one of the nine new coal mines and coking plants President Mnangagwa visited in July last year and is set to become the largest and most advanced coke oven in Zimbabwe.
Speaking during a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Mines and Mining Development Minister Winston Chitando has informed Cabinet that the projects were now complete.
“Regarding the Construction of the Afrochine Dinson Colliery plant for coking coal production in Hwange, it was reported that the construction of the coking coal oven battery and the coking coal plant were both 100 percent complete.
“The project has created 300 jobs to date,” she said.
Afrochine Dinson started building its plant in 2019 but progress was stalled by the outbreak of Covid-19 until the Government engaged its Chinese counterparts to facilitate the return of experts who had been locked in the Asian country to complete the projects.
The company which has also announced the intent to build a power station at its plant in November this year plans to produce about 400 tonnes of coke per day in the near future to meet local and regional demand of the product.
Afrochine Dinson has also started construction for the second phase of their project, as the company seeks to deepen the value addition drive, which feeds into Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030 of an empowered and prosperous upper middle income economy.
On the Eureka gold mining project in Guruve, Minister Mutsvangwa said Cabinet has been informed that the investment is almost complete. The project, which is owned by Dallaglio Investments, is one of the mines being resuscitated as the Government targets a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023.
“The Minister of Mines and Mining Development reported that the refurbishment of the Eureka Gold Mine in Guruve, Mashonaland Central province overall progress is at 94,4 percent,” she said.
Reconstruction works at the mine were commissioned by the President in 2018 as part of a grand strategy to maximise on Zimbabwe’s economic endowment and driving the economy towards an upper middle income economy by 2030.
Eureka was forced to shut operations after running into viability problems two decades ago with capital at the centre of the mine’s troubles.
“At the Bravura platinum exploration project in Selous, Mashonaland West, procurement of equipment to carry out the drilling programme is now 90 percent complete. Sampling of the economic horizon is now 45 percent complete. The project has now employed 54 people from the surrounding communities and nearby towns,” said Minister Mutsvangwa, adding that the Unki Debottlenecking project in Shurugwi, Midlands province, was overally at 62 complete.
The US$12 billion mining strategy was launched by President Mnangagwa in 2019 to increase the sector’s contribution to the economy. The projected increase represents a 344 percent jump from US$2,7 billion achieved in 2017. By 2030, the Government projects that the mining sector would be contributing an upwards of US$20 billion.
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