A stracker machine loads coal mined to a conveyor belt at stock pile area at an open pit coal mine Bloomberg

Harare - Hwange Colliery, a partly state-owned Zimbabwean coal miner, plans to cut 1 500 jobs this year to make it more viable and has put measures in place to protect it from lawsuits, Deputy Mines Minister Fred Moyo said.

“Hwange’s labour force is 3 000 and about 1 500 are going to be laid off to make the company remain viable,” Moyo told lawmakers leaders in the capital, Harare.

The country has a 37-percent stake in the company.

“Government has put in place a scheme arrangement authorised by the High Court which will protect the company against litigation.”

Hwange operates a mine in north-west Zimbabwe and is the country’s largest coal miner after Makomo Resources and a supplier of the fuel to state-owned power utility Zesa Holdings.

British businessman Nicholas van Hoogstraten holds 20 percent of Hwange through Messina Investments.