Coal miner Hwange Colliery Company Limited has selected a European company to conduct exploration and drilling at its new concession in western and Lubimbi fields in Hwange. Managing director Mr Thomas Makore told The Herald Business in an interview yesterday that the company had finished the selection process and was finalizing the contract. "It will be a phased exploration programme with the first and second phases expected in 12 months (from commencement) while phase three can be renegotiated," he said.
Mr Makore declined to reveal the name of the company until the contract had been signed.
In 2015, the Government granted Hwange new coal concessions in Lubimbi and western areas.
The new concessions, with an estimated underground resource of about one billion tonnes, according to an independent competence report done by SRK Consulting, is expected to increase the life span of the coal mining company by more than 50 years.
Hwange, the country oldest coal miner is looking at partnering foreign investors to develop the new mines at its new concessions, Mr Makore said in earlier interview.
Apart from Lubimbi and western area coalfields, Hwange has also identified deposits in the Lowveld.
This part of the country is strategic because of its proximity to the South African market and port of Beira and Maputo in Mozambique. Coal has been the dominant energy mineral for Zimbabwe.
The country boasts of vast reserves of coal particularly in the north-west and southern parts of the country.