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Petra Diamonds halts SA operations over power cuts

The company has announced it’s in the process of halting its mining operations in South Africa.

Petra Diamonds’ Finsch mine. Picture: @Petra_Diamonds/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Petra Diamonds has confirmed it received a notification from Eskom, asking it to reduce its load to the essential level.

As a result, it has announced it’s in the process of halting its mining operations in South Africa.

Petra Diamonds said all production, hoisting and processing have stopped with immediate effect at its operations in Cullinan, Finsch and Koffiefontein.

The company is removing all miners underground.

“Petra will update the market as soon as it receives a further notification as to how long the load curtailment will last, and therefore what impact this is likely to have upon the Company's production performance,” the company said in a statement.

This came after Eskom announced stage six load shedding on Monday.

The power utility said: “We regret and sincerely apologise that stage 4 load shedding will move to stage 6 load shedding as from 18:00 today, as a result of a shortage of capacity. This follows a technical problem at Medupi Power Station, impacting additional generation supply.”

• How to check your load shedding schedule

Eskom added that stage 6 load shedding “was no cause for concern”. Stage 6 load shedding means that 6,000 megawatts will be shed.

“Eskom's emergency response command centre and technical teams will be working through the night to restore units as soon as possible. Eskom is working closely with large players to assist with further load curtailment,” a statement reads.

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