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South Africa miners hit by power outages caused by flash floods

South African miners have been forced to halt operations due to power outages caused by flash floods, Reuters reported Dec. 10.

Power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. said in a same day statement that it implemented a Stage 4 rotational load shedding, due to a shortage of capacity as a number of its generating units were shut down. Eskom said approximately 80% of South Africa's power demand is met, despite the breakdowns.

Stage 6 load shedding was initially raised by the South African power utility Dec. 9, as it experienced operational issues at its Medupi, Kriel and Camden power stations that resulted in capacity shortages.

Harmony Gold Mining Co. Ltd. called off underground shifts, while Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd. stopped production at the Rustenburg and Marula platinum mines, the newswire's report said.

Sibanye Gold Ltd. temporarily shuttered its deep-level mines, but aimed to send back its workers in the near term. Operations for Anglo American PLC, Gold Fields Ltd.'s South Deep mine, and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd.'s Mponeng mine were affected.

Meanwhile, a South32 Ltd. spokeswoman said the Hillside and Mozal aluminum smelters enacted planned power outages, under an agreement with Eskom. The representative added that the effect on output would only be visible in January.

In a separate statement, Petra Diamonds Ltd. said it resumed mining operations, but with a 20% load curtailment, in line with Eskom's requirements, following the downgrade of the load shedding status.