Press Statement

Zambia Chamber of Mines calls on ZESCO to help protect Mine Assets during load shedding

The industry and nation must not lose key economic assets.

The Council of the Zambia Chamber of Mines has called on Zambia’s electricity supplier ZESCO, the Government and the entire energy sector to prioritise the protection of underground mine ventilation, mine dewatering infrastructure and Copper Smelter furnace assets from irreparable damage associated with power outages at this time of load shedding.

“We appeal for heightened vigilance from ZESCO to prioritize ventilation and dewatering of underground mining operations and  prevention of freezing over of smelter furnaces even under notice of Force Majuere served on Chamber of Mines member companies.’ Reads the Council resolution of its second quarter meeting.

The loss of any of these assets from mines such as Mabiza in the south to Lumwana, Kansanshi, Konkola, Nchanga or Mufulira in the North will be calamitous for the Copper and Nickel mining industry and the nation’s economic prospects.

The Chamber of Mines Council fully and steadfastly supports ZESCO as it manages this daunting climate change by securing and availing to the mining industry and other sectors of the economy power supply alternatives.

ZESCO has served notices of force majeure on supply of electricity to several of the Chamber of Mines members. The industry is alive to reports that the ongoing severe El-Niño induced drought has lowered the Kariba Dam’s water levels such that underground mining and copper smelting operations, can no longer be completely insulated from intermittent reductions in levels of power supply.

The Chamber membership stands ready to swiftly cooperate with the Government by participating in time bound and predictably proportioned alternative power supply sourcing arrangements to enable the sector and country navigate the challenging circumstances.

Ends//

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