Leonard Ncube recently in Hwange
COAL miner, Makomo Resources, has reported a 27 percent drop in production for the first nine months of 2019, attributed to procurement gaps as a result of a shortage of foreign currency.
The Hwange-based company produced a total of 689 000 tonnes during the three-quarter period and expects to close the year at one million tonnes.
The company’s marketing and technical manager, Miss Siphathisiwe Nkomo, said the business has been affected by economic challenges facing the country such as erratic fuel supplies and constraints in buying spare parts.
She was speaking in a recent interview during a tour of the mine site by Matabeleland North Minister of State, Richard Moyo, and Namibia’s Omaheke region Governor, Festus Tulonga Ueitele.
Miss Nkomo said Makomo Resources was in the process of engaging Government with a view to seek assistance in accessing foreign currency.
“We have not been immune to the prevailing economic challenges and as a result, since last year we are down by 27 percent, which is a huge blow to the company,” she said.
Ms Nkomo said procurement of spares and diesel requires foreign currency, which the coal miner is failing to secure. About 70 percent of Makomo’s output goes to the Zimbabwe Power Company.
Ms Nkomo, however, said they had partnered a local equipment supplier to beat forex challenges by securing some of the spares and equipment in the country.
“The challenge has been with interbank rates hence we started talks with a local company and we are now procuring some of the equipment locally.
“You may be aware that the bulk of our equipment is not sourced locally,” she said.
“Directors are in talks with Government to open up for ease of doing business towards accessing forex.”
Makomo Resources has grown to become a key entity having overtaken former giant, Hwange Colliery, in terms of capacity utilisation and production.
Meanwhile, Makomo Resources will this Friday hold its 9th anniversary celebrations at the site to reward employees and honour stakeholders who have managed to sustain operations despite the economic hardships. — @ncubeleon