HARARE, March 30 — Zimbabwe’s Hwange Colliery Company (HCC) intends to increase its production of coking coal, a vital ingredieyt in the steel-making process, and to open up additional markets for the product in southern Africa and beyond.

“Tenders are invited from suitably qualified and interested bidders with technical and financial capacity to supply underground mining equipment on seller’s credit that will enable Hwange Colliery Company to ramp up its underground mine coking coal production to 60,00 tons per month, per section,” it said in a tender notice Sunday.

“Currently, Hwange Colliery Company Limited operates a one continuous miner section at its 3Main underground mine and would initially want to scale up production to two mining sections.”

Meanwhile, HCC said in another statement that as part of a recapitalization programme, it was also looking for funds to resuscitate its coke oven battery and restoration of the coke oven gas plant.

“Therefore, Hwange Colliery Company Limited invites expressions of interest for the capital raising to fund the resuscitation of the coke oven battery and also the restoration of the coke oven gas supply to Hwange Power Station,” HCC said.

The company said it had already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with an unnamed foreign consultant to co-ordinate the proposed funding initiatives.

“Through this invitation, Hwange Colliery Company Limited is further opening invitations for expressions of interest for the provision of funding, pre-feasibility and feasibility studies and implementation supervision for the resuscitation or complete rebuild of the coke oven battery combined with the restoration of coke oven gas supply to Hwange Power Station.”

HCC recently secured an 18 million US dollars loan facility from the Export and Import Bank of India and another 15 million USD loan from Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank), a treaty-based regional institution, to procure open cast mining equipment.