Hwange Coal was discovered in 1893 and was known to the locals as the “the rock that burns”. The first coal mining expedition began in 1902. The coal was initially transported by ox wagon and later by rail as a railway line from Bulawayo to Hwange was constructed in 1903.
This development enabled the company to increase its coal supply. Mining was primarily by underground pillar mining hand got system. Opencast mining was intermittent and limited to small pits to supplement underground mining operations during times of increased coal demands. In 1927 and 1953 number two and three collieries were commissioned respectively to increase coal production. However, number one colliery was decommissioned in 1961 and after the Kamandama mine shaft disaster in 1972, number two shaft was closed.
To make up for the lost production number four mine shaft was commissioned in 1976. Due to the increased demand for coal and the opening up of the Hwange thermal power station, the Opencast mine was commissioned as a result in 1982 to meet up the coal demands from the power station. To date several, the company continues to implement several initiatives including investing in equipment in order to increase the mines production capacity. This and other strategic initiatives will ensure consistent coal supply to the local and regional markets.