Blackout hits South Australian miners

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 03 Oct 2016   Posted by admin

State-wide blackouts have wreaked havoc on South Australia’s mining industry.

By Reuben Adams

WILD weather has forced South Australia’s biggest miners to shut down operations following the state-wide blackout on Wednesday, 28 September.

BHP Billiton announced that Olympic Dam was able to safely shut down operations and the site de-mobilised, with backup generators providing power to critical infrastructure to allow a restart of operations when power is restored.

“Our primary focus is the safety and welfare of our people,” BHP said in a statement.

“We are liaising closely with Electranet and the State Government to ensure power is restored to Roxby Downs town and Olympic Dam as soon as possible.”

As of 3 October Olympic Dam was receiving some power from the grid, but operations remained in a care and maintenance.

According to BHP, impacts to production would be provided in the Operational Review for the September 2016 quarter, scheduled for release on 19 October.

Production at OZ Minerals Prominent Hill copper and gold mine was also suspended due to electricity supply disruptions.

On 3 October Oz Minerals announced that electricity transmission to Prominent Hill mine would be progressively restored in the next seven to 10 days.

Network provider ElectraNet issued a statement on Sunday 2 October confirming that three of the four power circuits to the northern region of South Australia remained out of service.

Based on an indicative time frame provided by ElectraNet, OZ Minerals expected its copper production to remain within annual guidance, but gold production to be “within or below the lower end of guidance”.