By Hilary Mare
FOLLOWING a nationwide power outage experience on July 22 which left Dundee Precious Metal Tsumeb reeling in severe losses with 2016 concentrate throughput expected to decrease by approximately 20 000 tonnes, the mining firm has successfully recommenced operations at the Ausmelt furnace at its Tsumeb smelter.
The outage as reported by Confidente had led to damage to the refractory lining of the Ausmelt furnace, the repair of which was expected to take three weeks. The reheating of the furnace commenced on August 9 with first concentrate treatment occurring on August 13.
“We are pleased with the timely and efficient restart of the furnace”, said Rick Howes, president and CEO. “Our current focus is to stabilise the plant throughput and achieve maximum plant efficiency as we look forward to realising the benefits of our smelter optimisation projects during the remainder of 2016.”
The company further stated that, the investigation of the incident identified a number of on-site opportunities that will mitigate risk associated with any potential future power interruptions. “During
the shutdown new generator controls were implemented, design improvements were made to the furnace roof, modifications were made to the cooling system to prevent water ingress into the furnace and site personnel received additional training to increase emergency preparedness,” added the firm.
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Chief Executive Officer, Tarah Shaanika speaking to this publication pushed for constant, reliable supply of competitively priced electricity as a very important ingredient for a competitive and successful economy that Namibia must work on achieving that situation.
“Any power outage is bad for business and it affects business negatively. While it is difficult to quantify the losses made by businesses in Namibia due to the last power outage, many businesses clearly lost money due to lack of production because production had to stop or due to customers unable to consume goods and services due to power outages.
“As business, we will continue to work with Government to find lasting solutions to power outages. Such unexpected lengthy outages must be avoided in future.
“The last incidence has shown very clearly that a reliance on one single source of power is risky. It would be prudent to consider having small power plants in most parts of the country as a strategy so that one fault at a power plant or even on part of a line will not shut down the whole country,” he added. Earlier last month the Electricity Control Board approved a 16,71 percent tariff increase effective July 1 after NamPower’s request for an effective bulk tariff increase. This increase meant that bulk tariffs increased from N$1,28 to N$1,49 per kWh. Dundee Precious Metals Inc. is a Canadian based, international gold mining company engaged in the acquisition of mineral properties, exploration, development, mining and processing of precious metals.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015