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Zambia Restores Power Supply After Failure Hurts Mine Production

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Dec. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Zambia, Africa’s biggest copper producer, restored power after a nationwide failure cut supply to mines owned by Barrick Gold Corp., Vedanta Resources Plc and Glencore Xstrata Plc.

Electricity supply resumed at about 10:00 a.m. following an outage that began more than two hours earlier, said Bestty Phiri, a spokesman for state-owned power company, Zesco Ltd. The utility isolated a fault on a transmission line, which caused some generation units to automatically shut down, he said.

The failure cut electricity to the capital, Lusaka, and interrupted power supply to Copperbelt province. Copper produced by First Quantum Minerals Ltd. and other mining companies accounts for about 70 percent of Zambia’s export earnings.

Zesco generates more than 90 percent of Zambia’s electricity with more than half coming from the 990-megawatt Kafue Gorge plant. The utility periodically cuts supply to factories and households to address a national power deficit and stabilize the grid.

To contact the reporter on this story: Matthew Hill in Lusaka at mhill58@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net

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