SYDNEY, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Power is unlikely to be restored to the area near BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam copper mine in South Australia before Monday, nearly two weeks after a massive outage forced it to shut down, power supplier ElectraNet said on Friday.
BHP said the time taken to restore power was “regrettable,” and that most operations remained on care and maintenance.
ElectraNet said crews were working to erect temporary towers and restring transmission lines but winds in the area were causing delays.
“Work is progressing steadily and while we are continuing with our best efforts to aim for Sunday, we expect a completion date of Monday may be more realistic, provided weather conditions remain stable,” ElectraNet’s manager of network services, Simon Emms, said.
BHP is losing an average of 567 tonnes of copper production at a cost of $2.7 million a day, based on last year’s output of 203,000 tonnes and current metals prices of around $4,800 a tonne.
The restoration of power could also see the neighbouring Prominent Hill copper mine resume operations.
The blackout occurred after strong winds destroyed major power lines and lightning struck a power plant. (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)