Gold miner AngloGold Ashanti on Monday warned that the fire at a substation in the West Wits region, which cut power to its Tau Tona and Mponeng operations, last week, would result in its first-quarter production being about 20 000 oz lower.
State-owned power utility Eskom reported last Thursday that a fire at a substation had resulted in supply being cut off to the Klerksdorp and Carletonville areas on Wednesday night.
All main power supply to the Tau Tona and Mponeng operations were interrupted between March 13 and 15.
While emergency procedures enabled the safe and prompt evacuation of all underground work areas, continued disruption of power to the mines, owing to the unplanned interruption of the main Eskom electricity supply, halted all but essential water pumping services on the two operations.
“There was insufficient power to run ventilation and cooling plants, hoisting infrastructure or metallurgical plants and other associated production activities,” AngloGold stated.
Eskom had partially restored power until the transformer could be repaired.
Tau Tona resumed underground mining activities on March 15, while the Mponeng operation resumed most of its operations on Monday; however, certain project and hoisting activities did not resume, to enable the gold miner to operate within current electricity supply constraints.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn