Message Sam 31 Aoû 2013 09:30

Maamba Collieries to export 2,000 tonnes

MAAMBA Collieries is exporting 2,000 tonnes of coal a month to Namibia and the DRC following persisting low demand locally, an official said yesterday.
Janardhan Lavu, company head of corporate affairs, said Maamba, once a key supplier of coal to the country's copper mines in the 1980s when output used to hit about 600,000 tonnes per year, was experiencing low demand for its coal.
"Demand has really been low locally and yet this is our big market," Lavu said in an interview.
"Our production is being determined by demand. At the moment we are producing 30,000 tonnes per month when at this time around we had anticipated to be producing about 600,000 tonnes."
The country's largest coal producer, which is majority owned by Singapore's Nava Bharat Private, has estimated coal reserves of 65 million tonnes.
Lavu explained that plans to scale up production could only be determined by local demand.
"As things stand we cannot go beyond 30,000 tonnes because there is no market," Lavu said.
On the power plant, he explained that works were on course.
"We have done 40 per cent of the works. We will be erecting the boiler at the end of this month and this will be the most significant step for the power plant," he added.
Nava Bharat acquired a 65 per cent stake in Maamba in 2009 and the remaining 35 per cent was retained by the Zambian government.
As part of the deal, Nava Bharat said it would revive the operations of the mine and build the coal-fired power plant.
According to a detailed layout of the project, the plant will commence output in 2015, with an initial output of 300 mega watts (MW).