In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent , Chikombero said he expected the nation’s coal production to drop to 1.96 million tonnes from 2.56Mt in 2011 due to myriad challenges.
The largest of these challenges, the paper said, was the lack of working capital, hence the need for the $US1 billion top up.
In the nine months to September 30, coal production amounted to 1.25Mt. At its peak in the mid-1990s, the Zimbabwe coal sector produced more than 5Mt a year.
Chikombero told the Independent that 20 special grants issued by the Ministry of Mines and Mining development would significantly improve coal production, although this was dependent on the success of government capital raising efforts.
Zimbabwe’s leading coal producer, Hwange Colliery Company, has suffered a 22% drop in production, while deliveries dropped more than 50% owing to increased competition from emerging coal miners.