Elliah Saushoma, Business Reporter
THE Government has awarded a coal exploration and mining licence to Mutagech Logistics (Pvt) Ltd for the establishment of a coal mine and a coke oven battery plant in Hwange as the Second Republic continues to prioritise investments in the coal mining sector.
In his 2021 Mid-Term Budget presented early this month, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Professor Mthuli Ncube reiterated that the Government would continue to issue coal licences to mining companies intending to establish coke oven batteries for coal beneficiation and value addition.
In an interview Mutagech Logistics project engineer Mr Donald Nkosana said his company was targeting to start mining by the end of the year under Phase One of the project which will see US$500 000 being pumped into the project. The company also envisages employing 600 people. Phase 2 will involve setting up if the coke oven battery.
“We are elated to come on board and contribute to the growth of our economy at a time we have just completed our Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) requirements which is to accomplish the ethos of sustainable mining embedded within the fabrics of the project. We look forward to contribute immensely to total coal exports and hence generation of requisite financial resources in line with the economic revival programme.”
Mr Nkosana said the company was committed to carry out mining in a sustainable way.
“We are a responsible company and the (EIA) as you know is a process used to evaluate the potential impacts of a proposed development on the environment and the community. Our country has embraced the concept of sustainable development, which is development that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the needs of the future generations. It is against this background that Mutagech Logistics (Pvt) Ltd will carry out sustainable coal mining using state of the art technology at Lukosi Special Grant,” said Mr Nkosana.
The company joins a growing list of entities that have been eyeing or expanding operations in the coal rich region.
Some companies already operating in coal mining in Hwange include Hwange Colliery, Makomo Mining, W & K Mining and Galpex Mining. Mr Nkosana said that his company has already started recognising local communities by engaging in a number of corporate social responsibility initiatives.
“We are a company for the people hence the great testimony for community engagement. The mine will be mainly focused on value addition as the mine product will be processed into coke for local and regional ferochrome and copper smelting industries.”
He said the company agreed with the community elders under Chief Nekatambe that it will construct a mortuary for Lukosi Hospital, buy the much needed transformer for the irrigation scheme for electrification of the community.
The company will also offer transportation assistance to the community, extend the water supply pipeline and assist its maintenance. The Government has set a target to ensure continued growth of the mining sector and ensure the sector becomes US$12 billion industry by 2023.