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Vedanta to shut Namibian zinc refinery for five weeks

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03/14/2019 | 08:40am EDT

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Vedanta Zinc International, a unit of diversified miner Vedanta Resources, said on Thursday it would close its zinc refinery in Namibia for five weeks after a strike by its mining contractor depleted stocks.

Miners downed tools from Feb. 22 to March 6, affecting waste-stripping at the mine in southern Namibia and mining of ore, the firm said.

The Skorpion Zinc Refinery continued operating during the strike, which led to ore stocks being depleted, a spokesman for Vedanta Zinc International wrote in an email to Reuters.

"It has therefore been decided to shut the refinery for a period of five weeks to allow the mine to rebuild adequate stock levels," he said.

Vedanta Zinc International said it would undertake maintenance during the shutdown, instead of carrying out the work later in the year.

"Every effort is being made to ensure that South African customers will not be affected by the temporary suspension, as they will be supplied from current inventory as far as this is possible," the firm said.

(Editing by Edmund Blair)

By Tanisha Heiberg

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