(Adds Nyrstar, mine details and background)
By Tom Westbrook
SYDNEY Oct 13 Electricity has been restored to
mining and industrial areas in South Australia, including BHP
Billiton's Olympic Dam mine, the electricity
utility said, a fortnight after a storm blacked out the entire
"ElectraNet's industrial customers now have full load levels
available to them," it said in a statement. A spokesman
confirmed that this included the Olympic Dam mine.
Mining at Olympic Dam and at Oz Minerals' Prominent
Hill copper mine was halted when a storm destroyed power
transmission lines and blacked out South Australia on September
A BHP Billiton spokeswoman could not immediately say if
production at the copper mine had restarted.
Oz Minerals could not immediately be reached for comment.
After the blackout, power was restored to most metropolitan
retail customers within 24 hours, but it took longer to
reconnect industrial customers, particularly those in the
state's far reaches.
Full production at a Nyrstar lead smelter resumed
on Wednesday, the company said, bringing back online a 185,000
Olympic Dam produced 203,000 tonnes of copper in fiscal
2016, or about 13 percent of company-wide output.
Oz Minerals has said the Prominent Hill mine should yield up
to 125,000 tonnes of copper this year.
Australia will conduct an independent review into the
blackout, which caused chaos in downtown Adelaide and set lead
futures galloping to their highest level in 16 months when the
Nyrstar smelter shut down.
(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)