Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) has put its Nchanga Underground Mine under care and maintenance due to loadshedding that is currently rocking the entire country.
But the PF government says the load shedding will have no impact on the mining operations or the country’ Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba told Qfm News that the power deficit will have very minimal impact on GDP and will not affect national production.
Yamba cited Maamba Coal Power Station where he claimed electricity production of 300 megawatts is expected to commence by the end of 2015 and the 120 megawatts Itezhi-Tezhi Hydro Power Project as the new power generation coming on board.
But as Yamba was blurting, KCM was also having meetings with contractors whose services have been terminated due to load shedding.
Documents seen by the Watchdog state that KCM has put the underground mine on care and maintenance before other departments because the safety hazards and risks associated with power failure underground are greater than in other departments.
Only workers deemed as essential by management have been retained to maintain the mine during the indefinite period. Sources at the mine say other departments might be affected as well depending on the situation.
On how many contractors will be affected by the action, a KCM internal document states that ‘all contractors will be affected however NUG management will advise on which contracts to be retained for essential services.’
KCM says it will invoke the force majeure (act of God) provision in its contracts with suppliers when informing them that their services have been terminated.
The KCM document further states that load shedding would certainly affect production but that management is working out measures to limit the negative impact.