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Batoka hydro power poised to attract investment

YALUMA

NANCY MWAPE, Livingstone
MINISTER of Mines Christopher Yaluma says the commissioning of the 2,400 megawatts Batoka hydro- power project in Livingstone will open up the country to a lot of new green investments in the mining sector.
Mr Yaluma said a lot of investments in the mining sector have been put on hold due to insufficient power supply.
“Government was forced to restrict power supply to the mines by 70 percent to ration the available power. Energy is the key to the growth of the mining industry, while the rest, like policy, are secondary,” he said.
In an interview recently, Mr Yaluma said power shortages experienced by the country also compelled investors that wished to set up processing plants like smelters to hold on to their investment, as smelters consume a lot of power.
He said the mining industry consumes about 60 percent of the energy produced in the country, while the remaining 40 percent is shared by other sectors, including households.
Mr Yaluma said First Quantum Minerals in North-Western Province plans to invest US$950,000 to construct a smelter and prolong the lifespan of Kansanshi Mine.
He said explorations for oil and gas are also progressing well by two big giant mines, Tullow Zambia BV Limited and Sargas Oil Limited.
He said Tullow Zambia is exploring on block 31 that is highly believed to be a potential oil block, while Sargas Oil is working on block 54.
He said Sargas has conducted a geo-technical survey and are now compiling results.
“The first project runs along Lake Tanganyika area through Kaputa into Luapula Province, and part of Lake Mweru. The other project runs a bit through Lake Tanganyika, but mostly coming on land, through Mporokoso,” he said.
He said the country will require additional power supply once the ongoing oil and gas explorations materialise.

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