UPDATE 1-Zambia power cuts hit Canada's First Quantum, Barrick

Tue Jul 28, 2015 5:12am EDT
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(Adds comments for Zambia chamber of mines)

By Chris Mfula

LUSAKA, July 28 (Reuters) - Power cuts in north-western Zambia, Africa's second-biggest copper producer, have affected production at mines run by Canada's First Quantum Minerals and Barrick Gold, an industry body said on Tuesday.

Zambian power utility Zesco Ltd is limiting power it supplies to customers, including mining companies, after water levels at its hydro-electric plants dropped due to drought.

"Power was reduced to both First Quantum Minerals and Lumwana over the weekend," Jackson Sikamo, President of the Zambian Chamber of Mines said.

Lumwana is Barrick's open-pit copper mine.

First Quantum said in a statement its Kansanshi mine, smelter and its greenfield Sentinel project were running at reduced capacities.

"Various options to alleviate the effect on production are being evaluated," the company said in a statement released on Monday.

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