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Impala Platinum shuts 2 mines due to power shortages

The mining company said it has shut production at its Rustenberg and Marula mines due to load shedding.

Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg. Picture: implats.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - Impala Platinum has shut production at its Rustenberg and Marula mines owing to power cuts that have left it functioning at 20%-30% of normal power, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

He added that the platinum miner was using electricity only for essential maintenance.

At the same time, more industrial clients have inadvertently come to Eskom’s aid by reducing their electricity consumption in the face of never-ending load shedding. Mining companies said they were been forced to cut production.

Harmony Gold called off its underground shifts, saying it would resume as soon as Eskom provided assurance that power supply would be more reliable.

Sibanye-Stillwater shut all its deep level mines on Monday but planned to send workers back underground on Tuesday afternoon.

On Monday, Petra Diamonds also announced it’s in the process of halting its mining operations in South Africa.

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.