Coal production at Zambia’s sole producer, Maamba Collieries Limited in Southern Province, more than doubled last year as the company ramps output up to meet demand from various end-users, the company says.
In 2012 production of the heating substance at Maamba Collieries in Sinazongwe, about 350 kilometres south of Lusaka, was 90,000 tones per annum which last year rose to 400,000, company spokesperson Janardhan Lavu said citing fairly stable policy environment and conditions in the country as reasons spurring the increase in outturn.
“In 2013, coal production levels at Maamba Collieries reached over 400,000 tonnes compared to only 90,000 tonnes in 2012,” said Lavu adding that the performance by the collier in 2013 had been fair since the mine was reopened in May, 2010.
The company, majority owned by Nava Bharat of Singapore and bought for US$26 million over three years ago, has continued registering an upward trend in coal production, although the break-even point had not been reached yet.
“The good performance in both production and sales can be safely attributed to a fairly stable and growing economic position Zambia occupies,” said Lavu.
This good performance has seen the company record orders from within and outside the Southern Africa Development Community or SADC.
Maamba Collieries says Lavu, has the ability to produce adequate coal requirements for the country and that the lower production scales recorded earlier, were mainly due to the small coal market in the country but the policy framework by the Government has helped the company grow since it was taken up.
“The policy environment has remained stable and conducive for investment and we have continued to receive tremendous support from all stakeholders,”
MCL is a joint venture between the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings (ZCCM-IH) and Nava Bharat of Singapore. Nava Bharat holds 65 per cent shares while ZCCM-IH owns the remaining 35 per cent.
The coal miner was bought off for a net value of US$26 million with the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Investment Holdings having 35 percent share in the collier.
Maamba Collieries Limited (MCL) was incorporated in 1971 under the ownership of the Government through the Zambia Industrial and Mining Corporation (ZIMCO).
Maamba Collieries has operated under the current mining title since 1970. The mining title encompasses approximately 7,900 hectares located on the Siankondobo coalfield in the Gwembe Valley, in the Southern Province of Zambia, the company said on its website.
The company is the largest producer of coal in Zambia with estimated coal reserves of 103 million tonnes of high grade coal and 70 million tonnes of low grade coal. MCL is operating an open cast coal mine with a production history of almost 40 years.