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State, mines work out load-shedding plan

NKOMBO KACHEMBA, Kitwe
GOVERNMENT has devised a plan to mitigate the impact of power shortages in the mining sector for the sustainability of the economy.
Zesco has restricted power supply to some mines on the Copperbelt and North-Western provinces in the wake of the power deficit the country is experiencing.
Minister of Mines, Energy and Water Development Christopher Yaluma has since directed Zesco to lift restrictions of power supply on First Quantum Mine in North-Western Province.
This follows a meeting the minister held with executive officers from various mining houses in North-Western and Copperbelt provinces at Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) on Tuesday, to discuss the issues affecting the mining sector with regards to load-shedding.
And briefing the media on the outcome of the meeting, Mr Yaluma said.
Government has developed an action plan to amicably resolve the challenges that the mining sector is facing.
“Government does not want the mining houses to be restricted with power without them knowing about the load-shedding schedule. We have to look at how these power cuts should be done and when they should be done. We have to come up with an agreeable load-shedding schedule for the mines,” he said.
Mr Yaluma said it is important that Zesco, the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) and the mining sector come up with a workable load-shedding schedule which will not affect the operations of the mines.
“During the meeting, we resolved that mining houses and the power utility companies agree on what amount of power to switch off,” he said.
Mr Yaluma said Government will work tirelessly to ensure that it develops long-term measures aimed at mitigating power shortages in the mines.
And Zambia Chamber of Mines president Jackson Sikamo commended Government for showing interest in resolving the challenges that mining companies are facing.
“We are happy that some of the concerns that we had raised have been addressed in this meeting and some clarifications on certain issues have been made,” Mr Sikamo said.



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