first quantum get $20 mill power line

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    Zambia to get $20 mln power line for new mine
    Mon June 9, 2003 01:43 PM ET
    LUSAKA, June 9 (Reuters) - Zambia's Copperbelt Energy Company (CEC) and Canada's First Quantum Minerals FM.TO said on Monday they will build a power line to supply First Quantum's new Kansanshi copper and gold mine in northwestern Zambia.
    The 250-megawatt line will extend 170 km (106 miles) from the Copperbelt town of Chingola to Solwezi, 600 km (375 miles) north of the capital Lusaka, the companies said in a statement.

    They said the power line would cost $20 million and to allow for future expansion would more than cater for all the power requirements of the mine, which is expected to start full production of 60,000 tonnes of copper anually from 2006.

    Construction would start this year and the power line would be operational by the final quarter of 2004.

    "The power line will be dimensioned to cater for all foreseeable mining electrification requirements of northwestern province. While Kansanshi mine's power requirements will not exceed 80MW (megawatts), the new power line will be dimensioned to transfer up to 250MW (megawatts)," the statement said.

    Zambia currently uses diesel generators to provide power in its northwestern province.

    The statement also said CEC intended to import 50 megawatts of power from the Democratic Republic of Congo for Kansanshi mine before the power line is completed.

    It said additional power was currently not available in Zambia as its two major electricity generation plants were currently undergoing "long-term rehabilitation."

    Industry sources said it was also cheaper for First Quantum to import power from the Congo as tariffs where lower than those charged by Zesco.

    "This decision is a result of commercial and strategic considerations in the interest of the whole of Zambia's power sector. The pricing of power from the Congo is competitive... this is not only vital for Kansanshi mine to operate economically but will play a role in private sector development," the statement said.

    First Quantum separately owns the Bwana Mkubwa mines in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo and is Swiss trader Glencore International AG's partner in Zambia's Mopani Copper Mines (MCM), which comprise Mufulira and Nkana mines.
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