SA: Eskom tells mines to shut down

source: News24
25/01/2008 10:42 – (SA)

Johannesburg – South Africa’s gold mines, and mining companies in other sectors, were instructed on Thursday night by electricity utility Eskom to shut their mines, possibly for up to between two to six weeks.

A letter signed by Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga said that key industrial consumers (KPI) had to reduce their power loads to “minimum levels”. He added that Eskom could not guarantee power supply.

“We did not send down a shift last night and we did not send one this morning at any of our mines,” said Willie Jacobsz, spokesman for Gold Fields. “I understand the situation is the same at AngloGold Ashanti and Harmony Gold,” he said.

A Johannesburg analyst said, however, that smaller consumers such as Simmer & Jack Mines and DRDGold still had power, at least at present.

In the letter, Maroga said the mines were required to “evacuate all underground staff”; “suspend all surface and underground mining”; but were allowed to keep essential services operating such as pumping and lighting. Mining companies would also be allowed underground if proto-teams were required to tackle fires.

Meanwhile, the South African government is [continue reading]

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