Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 12 June 2008 – Zambia’s copper and cobalt mines – as well as other electricity consumers – have had normal power supplies restored after two faulty 180-megawatt hydropower generators were brought back into service.
Reporting from here on the restoration of power, Bloomberg News quoted Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (Zesco) spokesman Chris Mubemba as saying: “We switched on the two generators at Kariba North Bank and Kafue Gorge power stations on Friday and yesterday after repairs.”
Mining companies operating in Zambia had agreed last week to an appeal to cut non- essential electricity usage during peak hours to prevent power failures that may affect production. This followed the disruption of power supplies to Zambia as a result of supply problems from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the isolation of the two generators for repair.
Power consumption in Zambia has increased 70% in the past five years, according to Zesco, and demand from the cobalt and copper miners is expected to double again by 2009.
Konkola Copper Mine Plc, Zambia’s largest miner, is satisfied with the power it has been getting and has had no loss of production, spokesman Sam Equamo said by phone from the mining town of Chingola. Production of cobalt and copper at Chambishi Metals Plc and Luanshya mines is also normal, according to Derek Webbstock, CEO of the two units.
Bwana Mkubwa Mine Plc’s operations manager Andre Scott said his production had not been affected, and Kansanshi Copper Mine Plc in northwestern Zambia said it was satisfied with current power supply to the unit. Both mines are jointly owned by Vancouver-based First Quantum Minerals and Zambian state-owned ZCCM Investment Holdings Ltd.