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Kansanshi to resume production today

The Lumwana copper
mine in north-western
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 February 2010 – Power supply to Zambia’s Kansanshi copper mine “’ owned by First Quantum Minerals, which is a growing mining and metals company engaged in mineral exploration, development and mining, predominantly in Africa “’ was due to be restored today, enabling the mining company to resume copper production.

Revealing this in a statement here, Zambian state power utility Zesco confirmed that the power supply line feeding Kansanshi and the Lumwana mine “’ owned by Australia’s Equinox Minerals “’ had been vandalised, affecting supply to both mines and forcing Kansanshi to suspend output on Sunday.

Output at Lumwana “’ which produced 109 413 tonnes of copper last year and plans to raise that to 135 000 tonnes in 2010 “’ was not affected, because the company was relying on diesel-powered generators and equipment, a mine official said.

Zesco spokeswoman Lucy Zimba told Reuters a power tower that had collapsed was due to have been erected yesterday despite heavy rains in northwestern Zambia. This meant that normal power supply to the two mines should then resume today. “We are more or less done, but it might take us another day before the power is restored,” Zimba said.

First Quantum resident director Kwalela Lamaswala told Reuters it would be difficult for Kansanshi, which produced 245 000 tonnes of copper in 2009, to make up for the output losses arising from the blackout.

Lamaswala said Kansanshi was losing US$10 million (R75 million) per day since production had ground to a halt.

Lumwana managing director Adam Wright said the power outage would not prevent the company from meeting the production targets it set for the first quarter of 2010.