Power cut cripples mining operations in Zambia




Miners in Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest copper producer, said on Friday power supply cut had crippled operations in the country’s mines.

A spokesman for Luanshya Copper Mine owned by China Nonferrous Metals Mining Corporation (CNMC) said in Lusaka that the company expected to lose about four hours of production.

“Even though the power restoration has started, we have to launch the equipment gradually to avoid damage,” Luanshya Copper Mine spokesman Sydney Chileya said.

Industry sources said Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) owned by Vedanta Resources shut down all its operations except its smelter and the Konkola Deep Mine during the blackout.

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KCM could not immediately be reached for comment.

But Zambian state power firm Zesco said the outage was due to a technical fault.

“We had a system disturbance which led to the loss of power on the Copperbelt, including the mines.

“We are investigating the cause of the disturbance. Power restoration has started but it will be gradual,” the utility’s spokesman Henry Kapata said.

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