Load shedding hits First Quantum Kasanshi mine, operations reduced

lunguFirst Quantum Minerals says power cuts imposed by Zambia’s state-run electricity company have hit its mining operations in the north western province of the country.

“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,” Board of Directors of First Quantum Minerals president Clive Newall said.

Newal further said:

‘On July 25, 2015, electricity supply to Kansanshi, including the smelter, was reduced to 117 megawatts from the steady-state level of 153 megawatts. Electricity supply at the Company’s Sentinel project was also reduced to 42 megawatts from 55 megawatts.

First Quantum said it was unable to provide estimates on how long the power supply reduction would last or its impact on production.

The country’s power provider ZESCO has contracted independent power producers to procure more electricity by the end of 2015, First Quantum said.

First Quantum’s Zambian smelter, which ramped up in February, is expected to produce over 300,000 tonnes of copper metal from around 1.2 million tonnes of concentrate a year, when it reaches full operation.

The supply reduction extends to all mining operations in the North Western province of Zambia.

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