The ore pile at
First Quantum’s
Kansanshi mine
in Zambia
 
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 09 February 2010 – Copper production at Zambia’s Kansanshi Mining Limited “’ owned by First Quantum Minerals, which is a growing mining and metals company engaged in mineral exploration, development and mining, predominantly in Africa “’ has ground to a halt  following a major power outage.

Revealing this in a statement issued here, the Zambian state power utility Zesco said a major power supply line feeding Kansanshi Mining and Lumwana Mine “’ owned by Australia’s Equinox Minerals Limited “’ had been vandalised, affecting power supply to the two mines.

The power had gone off on Sunday evening and there had not been production at Kansanshi since then.

“Production has ground to a halt and we are not producing copper right now,” Kansanshi mine spokesman Godfrey Msiska told Reuters. “The power outage has had a very adverse effect on our operations,” Msiska said.

A Lumwana official revealed that output at the mine had not been affected because the company had been able to rely on a diesel-powered generator.

Zesco Limited director for customer services Joe Chiyassa said he could not estimate when the utility would restore power supply, but added that it was working on the power line. “Zesco wishes to inform its customers that a 330 kilovolt tower was vandalised and collapsed to the ground on Sunday. This has caused the outage of the only radial feeder to the two mines and surrounding areas,” he added.

Foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include First Quantum Minerals, London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc, Equinox Minerals and Glencore International AG of Switzerland.