Zambian copper
mines “’ need
more power
 
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 03 February 2010 – Zambia’s sole power distributor to the country’s copper mines says it plans to boost electricity supply to meet demand from mines, which is seen to be rising from 700 MW to 1 000 MW within five years.

Confirming this here, Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) managing director for corporate development Michael Tarney said it planned to construct some new power stations in partnership with Chinese and American power firms. One of these projects was the proposed 300 MW Mumbotuta project in northern Zambia, which would likely cost about US$1 billion (7.5 billion).

“It is a project that we would like to develop through a consortium,” Tarney told Reuters in an interview in Cape Town on the sidelines of the Mining Indaba. He added that CEC was also in negotiation with various foreign investors regarding the development of the Kabompo Gorge and Kafue Gorge projects in Zambia.

Tarney said a rally in copper prices had caused Zambian mines to raise their investments with new projects likely to be developed in the country in the near future. “We need to accelerate these power projects so that they can be closed, otherwise there will be no power for some of these mining projects,” he added.

Some of the foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Canada’s First Quantum Minerals, London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, Canadian and Australian-listed Equinox Minerals and Glencore International AG of Switzerland.