Mines lose 10pc production time on power outages
Happiness Zengeni in Victoria Falls
The Chamber of Mines has reported that power outages arising from faults and demand management-related load shedding affected supply in the first quarter of the year with some mines losing as much as 10 percent of their production time.
In its first quarter report, the Chamber said outages in the morning shift are particularly damaging as they affect drilling and blasting operations.
“Such outages affect the generation on ore to feed milling plants and this impacts on daily output.”
The Chamber of Mines is currently advocating for the reduction in power tariffs.
“Meetings with the relevant authorities are still in progress. As an industry we would be most comfortable with 8c per kilowatt hour (kWh) as opposed to the current 13c.”
The report notes that high tariffs particularly for gold producers at 12,8 cents kWh have been a subject of engagement between the mining industry and relevant authorities.
“Convergence on a tariff that can provide wiggling room for Zesa and the gold producers must be found.”
The Chamber welcomed the announcement of a special tariff of 6,7 cents kWh for ferrochrome producers as the sector has been facing viability headwinds that affected production. Electricity in the ferrochrome industry accounts for about 28 percent.
The issues around power availability in the mining sector is expected to be deliberated today when the Chamber’s annual congress roars into life in the resort town of Victoria Falls.
The congress will run under the theme Shared Vision, Shared Values, Shared Benefits: A Roadmap for the Zimbabwe Minerals Resource Sector.
The conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on the founding principles and values underpinning the mining industry and to explore how players can build consensus on the ideal mining industry.
Mines and Mining Development Minister Walter Chidhakwa will give the keynote address while Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was invited as guest of honour. Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa is also expected to address the delegates.