Nov 09, 2011 (Dow Jones) -- Zambia's state power utility Zambia Electricity Supply Corp., Wednesday restored normal power supply to the country's vast copper and cobalt mines in the Copperbelt province later after a blackout that lasted nearly five hours, officials said Wednesday.
Zesco engineers managed to repair faults at the Leopards Hill substation that had disrupted power supply to the capital Lusaka and the Copperbelt after around five hours of "rigorous" work, a Zesco official told Dow Jones Newswires.
"Power supply to the Copperbelt has been restored," he said, adding that the utility is still assessing the losses incurred as a result of the outages.
Vedanta Resources PLC'S (VED.LN), the country's second largest copper producer by output said separately that following the power outages, it imported emergency power from neighboring Congo.
"During this outage, the company's emergency generation systems were brought into operation and additional emergency power was secured" from Congo, Joy Sata, the company spokeswoman, said in an emailed statement. "About 220 miners at Nchanga underground who were temporarily trapped in two cages were promptly evacuated to safety without any incident during the power outage."
Vedanta will provide an update on the impact on output later, Sata said.
Zambia's power installations are prone to breakdowns, mainly due to inadequate investments in maintenance works.
Coppper mining companies consume at least 60% of the country's generated power.