Hwange’s footprint skips borders

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Hwange Colliery Company (HCC), which sealed a lucrative coal products supply deal with Zambian firms this week, says it will be negotiating more contracts to expand its footprint in regional markets and boost its bottom-line.
The country’s largest coal miner agreed deals with a number of Zambian mining and manufacturing firms to rail 18 000 tonnes of coal products every month during the Zambia International Trade Fair (ZITF), which would up in Ndola on Wednesday.
The Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed company was participating in the expo for a second year.
“We have been supplying companies over the years but it has not been consistent. The only difference is that we have now agreed to sign a contract. It’s a one-year contract,” Charles Zhou, the Colliery’s marketing manager said in a telephone interview yesterday.
The coal products include coal, coke and associated by-products such as coal-fines and nutpeaduff.
HCC’s medium-term plan is to consolidate existing markets established in 2009.
Last year it penetrated the ‘washed peas market’ and is also in a coke breeze partnership with a Zambian company.
The colliery also supplies 4 500 tonnes of coke to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on a monthly basis.
Fred Moyo, HCC managing director, however would not reveal how much in monthly earnings the current deal has unlocked.
“We are opening a lot of regional markets. We are seeing our footprints everywhere and we want it to expand to as many markets as possible,” Moyo said. “Unlike gold and platinum, our business is a volumes business, so our earnings should improve as our volumes increase”.
Zambia is currently HCC’s biggest export destination so far where it is setting up a marketing office to get closer to its customers, including those in the DRC. China, which absorbs large amounts of its coke products, is second largest.
Asked if the company had the capacity to process the current and pipeline orders, Moyo said the company had enough coal deposits to fire Zimbabwe’s industry and that of the region.
It is also rehabilitating its plants and machinery to augment its supply capacity.