Nohlelo Mlilo, Sunday News Reporter
THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is setting up a stone crushing plant for the purpose of exploiting quarry deposits at Naletale for its internal use and its value chain customers.
NRZ spokesperson Mr Martin Banda said the setting of the quarry mine at Naletale would see investment in the form of a stone crushing plant with a capacity to produce between 96 800 and 464 640 tonnes of various quarry stone products annually that would assist NRZ in maintaining its tracks.
“This will allow NRZ to produce its own ballast stones for repair and maintenance of its tracks. We are looking at a stone crushing plant with a capacity of 96 800 and 464 640 tonnes. Such exercise was last done a long time ago thus leaving tracks in a deplorable state,” said Mr Banda.
He went on to say that the quarry plant has been paid for and it arrived in Beira, Mozambique last month and is expected on site before the end of this month where it is expected to start operating around mid-June. He said the rail infrastructure was in a bad state due to illegal mining and heavy rains and had long been “crying out “ for repairs.
“Railway infrastructure is in a bad state due to lack of repair and maintenance over the years and this has seen NRZ being affected by derailments especially during the rainy season. NRZ currently have 250km of rail under cautions and we intend to reduce these cautions at the rate of 50km per year and use the quarry plant to maintain infrastructure.
To address this issue of infrastructure, NRZ is planning to revive its Naletale Quarry Mine near Shangani. This mine will allow NRZ to produce its own ballast stones for the main line and will go a long way in maintaining a main line which was neglected for a very long time,” he said.
He said they have also procured fasteners that hold rail to concrete sleepers and they are also in the process of repairing two tamping machines which have been down for the past three years.