ZPC owes Makomo Resources $25 million
COAL miner Makomo Resources says it is owed about $25 million by its largest customer, the Zimbabwe Power Company (ZPC).
The situation has impacted negatively on some of the miner’s developmental projects, management said.
In 2013, Makomo became the country’s largest thermal coal producer overtaking Hwange Colliery Company Limited, which is facing viability challenges.
Makomo Resources has the capacity to produce up to 300 000 tonnes of coal per month.
In an interview, Makomo Resources general manager, Mr Samson Mabvira, said: “Right now it is around $25 million that we are owed by ZPC.
“And when you are owed that kind of money, then you start prioritising on the limited resources which are coming our way to focus on mining and making the coal available to the nation.”
ZPC managing director Engineer Mr Noah Gwariro could not be reached for comment as his mobile number was not reachable. Efforts to get a comment from Zesa Holdings chief executive officer Engineer Josh Chifamba and the power utility’s spokesperson Mr Fullard Gwasira were also not successful as their mobile phones were not being answered.
In 2014, Makomo Resources announced plans to set aside $2,5 million to construct houses for its more than 500 employees to ease accommodation challenges.
Work on the project was scheduled to begin last year.
Earlier, the company’s logistics manager, Mr Victor Mutokonyi, told this paper that their housing project had been delayed due to financial challenges.
“Like in any other business set up, there are challenges and the known challenges (financial challenges) but as a business we are trying our best that is why you are seeing progress now. The challenges emanate from where we sell our coal; 95 percent of our business is with ZPC and ZPC has not been paying us well enough,” he said, adding that 40 housing units under a cluster set up would be built to accommodate the mine’s workers and management.
However, Mr Mabvira said servicing of the housing development site has already begun with the opening of roads underway to pave way for construction work next year.
Makomo Resources, which is owned 60 percent by a group of six indigenous businesspeople while the remainder is held by foreign investors, recently announced that it had secured more than $1 billion for construction of a 600MW thermal power station in Hwange.
The funding was sourced from various finance houses and the miner’s technical partners.
Sino Hydro carried out a feasibility study for the project on behalf of the miner and construction is expected to begin at the end of the first quarter of 2017.
It is expected that the project will be completed within 36 months.
Makomo Resources has opencast operations at its 7 000 hectare Entuba coalfields in Hwange District with a life span of 30 years, and resources to sustain underground operations for over 100 years. — @okazunga