Africa’s Biggest Copper Mine Hit by Zambian Power Restrictions – by Matthew Hill and Taonga Clifford Mitimingi (Bloomberg News – August 15, 2017)

Zambia is cutting power to mines including Africa’s biggest copper site, the Kansanshi pit owned by First Quantum Minerals Ltd., escalating a fight over tariffs.

“They have still got some significant amount of power for them to operate, but obviously their operations will not be at 100 percent because of the power restrictions,” Energy Minister David Mabumba told reporters Tuesday in Lusaka, the capital.

Glencore Plc has said it halted production at the Kitwe and Mufulira operations in Zambia’s Copperbelt province after the main electricity provider restricted supplies.

Copper miners in Zambia, Africa’s second-biggest producer of the metal, have been in a dispute with the country’s energy regulator since it raised tariffs by almost 30 percent in 2014. The mines owned by First Quantum and Glencore are the only operations in Zambia that haven’t agreed to a new power tariff that was introduced in January, Mabumba said.

Details on the power cuts from Mabumba, the energy minister:

Kansanshi mine gets 153 megawatts from usual 187
First Quantum’s Kalumbila mine gets 110 megawatts from 155
Glencore’s Mopani Copper Mines gets 94 megawatts from 130

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