By Hilary Mare
THE nationwide power outage experience on July 22 has left Dundee Precious Metal Tsumeb reeling in severe losses with 2016 concentrate throughput expected to decrease by approximately 20 000 tonnes.
The mine’s management expressed that the power outage resulted in damage to the refractory lining of the Ausmelt furnace, the repair of which is expected to be completed in the coming weeks.
“Subsequent to a power blackout on Friday, July 22, 2016, cooling water entered the Ausmelt furnace as a result of the back-up systems for power and cooling water not operating as expected, which compromised the integrity of the refractory lining. As a consequence, and following initial inspections completed on Sunday, July 24, 2016, management believes that the refractory lining will need to be fully replaced,” Rick Howes president and Chief Executive Officer of Dundee said.
Further the company noted that the vast majority of the costs associated with repairing the physical damage are expected to be covered through the company’s insurance programme.
“The response taken by operations management during this event ensured that no one was placed at risk during the outage. A full investigation is currently being led by Tsumeb’s management,” Howes added.
The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) Chief Executive Officer, Tarah Shaanika last week in 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 this 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.
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