Business

KCM bemoans increased tariffs

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) is considering the use of oil-fired boilers to power for electrolyte heating and ramping up refinery capacity following increased power tariffs that has added US$3 million per month on the cost of production.
KCM also plans to have its smelter undergo a biennial shutdown in second quarter of the financial year 2017 after which the feed-rate will increase from 70 to more than 80 tonnes per hour.
According to the production results for the first quarter ended June 30, 2016 posted on the Vedanta Resources Plc website, metal production was stable at 29,000 tonnes compared to the prior quarter but was lower by two percent compared on year-on-year basis.
“This is mainly due to the Nchanga underground mine being placed on managed care and maintenance in third quarter of financial year (FY2016). Nchanga underground contributed a production of 4,000 tonnes in FY2016 and [FY2015] production was at 7,871 tonnes,” it stated.
It stated that at the Konkola underground mine, production was higher by two percent year on year on account of improved recoveries.
“Equipment availability at Konkola has increased by 10 percent in the quarter, as the trackless engineering and maintenance team at Konkola has been strengthened through external recruitment and this is showing a positive impact on equipment reliability.
“At the Tailings Leach Plant, production continues to increase, and was five percent higher during the quarter at 14,000 tonnes compared on year-on-year basis,” it stated.
It stated that power tariffs were increased in January 2016 and this resulted in an adverse impact of US$ 3 million per month on the cost of production.
“The company is exploring a range of possible solutions to reduce the cost of power including technical interventions, to use oil-fired boilers as an alternate to power for electrolyte heating and ramping up refinery capacity,” it stated.

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