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Zambian copper mines back in full production

Headgear at the
Konkola Deep Mining
Lusaka, Zambia — MININGREVIEW.COM — 22 June 2010 – Copper mines in Zambia “’ Africa’s top producer of the metal “’ have replaced equipment damaged by unstable electricity supply when the power was restored after a nationwide blackout halted output last week, and are back in full production.

Reuters reports that power blackouts are frequent in Zambia, and are a concern for the foreign companies that own most of the major mines in the mineral-rich Copperbelt and north-western provinces of the country.

Copperbelt province permanent secretary Villie Lombanya told Reuters that the situation had returned to normal. “Normal production has resumed at all the mines. Konkola Copper Mines had some problems, but most of them have now been resolved,” he added.

Konkola “’ one of Zambia’s largest mining companies, owned by London-listed Vedanta Resources Plc “’ announced over the weekend that it expected to resume full operations immediately, after restarting a processing plant and its key 300 000 tonne per annum Nchanga smelter.

Lombanya said the mines were still counting the losses resulting from the power blackout.

Kansanshi mine, “’ Zambia’s largest single mine by output, owned by Canadian-based First Quantum Minerals “’ has resumed full production after losing 9 hours of production during the power blackout, its spokesman Godfrey Msika told Reuters.

“It took us a bit of time to fire up the machines, but we have hit full production again," he said.

Production has also resumed at the Lumwana mine, owned by Australia’s Equinox Minerals, and the Bwana Mkubwa plant, another First Quantum unit, officials at these mines told Reuters.

Other foreign mining companies operating in Zambia include Glencore International AG of Switzerland and Metorex of South Africa.