SYDNEY Oct 7 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
"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
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)