THE temporary restriction of electricity supply to Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) by the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) recently, among other operational challenges has triggered low production and affected the quality of copper mined at its Nchanga Mine in Chingola.
CEC temporarily restricted power supply to KCM due to unpaid dues amounting US$60 million.
KCM has, however, paid US$50 million of the total debt and power to Nchanga Mine had been fully restored.
Vedanta Resources plc group communications, sustainability and corporate social responsibility president Roma Balwani said in the production release for the second quarter and half year ended September 30, 2014, that copper production at Nchanga had been negatively affected.
“At Nchanga, production was affected by lower grades and a temporary power restriction in September. We however introduced new equipment during the quarter, and the open pits are now producing as planned,” Ms Balwani said.
Ms Balwani said the Nchanga smelter undertook a one-month planned maintenance shutdown during the quarter under review.?She said while this resulted in lower finished copper production, the shutdown had been successfully completed and the smelter had restarted and was ramping up production as expected.
She said during the period under review, overall mined metal production was at 30,000 tonnes, showing a reduction of 12 per cent lower than the corresponding prior quarter when production figures were at 34,000 tonnes.
“At Konkola mines, while operational issues driven by low equipment availability and shaft interruptions affected production during the quarter, we have been implementing various interventions to improve the overall operating performance and drive higher equipment?availability and utilisations, and these are progressing well,” she said.
Times of Zambia