On Saturday, 25 July, Zambia power reductions were initiated and electricity supply to First Quantum Minerals’ Kansanshi operation, including the smelter was reduced to 117 MW from the steady-state level of 153 MW.
This is following the company’s notice receipt three days prior from ZESCO, Zambia’s state-run power company, of the declaration of Force Majeure for the supply of electricity.
Electricity supply at First Quantum Minerals’ Sentinel project was also reduced to 42 MW from 55 MW. The supply reduction extends to all mining operations in the North Western province of Zambia.
In the notice of the declaration of Force Majeure, ZESCO stated that it has contracted independent power producers such as Maamba Collieries and Itezhi Tezhi Power Corporation, through the signing of Power Purchase Agreements, to procure more electricity by the end of 2015.
Facilities at the Kansanshi mine, smelter and the Sentinel project are currently operating at reduced capacities while various options to alleviate the effect on production are being evaluated.
As such, the company is unable to provide estimates on the length of the supply reduction or its impact on production.