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By Geoffrey Kapembwa

July 14 (Bloomberg) — Indeni Refinery, Zambia‘s only refiner of oil, may resume production on July 31 after it receives a shipment of crude next week, said Mwila Nkonge, a spokesman for the company.

A delivery will arrive at the port of Dar es Salaam in neighboring Tanzania on July 21, Nkonge said in an interview today from Ndola, 420 kilometers (261 miles) north of the capital, Lusaka. Production at Indeni was halted on July 9 when the refinery ran out of crude.

“We’ve been assured that crude oil will arrive on Monday, after which we expect to resume production,” Nkonge said.

Zambia is Africa’s biggest copper producer. In October, mining companies in the southern African nation stockpiled fuel after a supplier withheld a crude shipment from Indeni, resulting in gasoline shortages.

Konkola Copper Mines Plc, the Zambian unit of Vedanta Resources Plc, has sufficient supplies of diesel to avert a disruption to its operations, Sam Equamo, a spokesman for Konkola, said in a telephone interview today from Chingola in northern Zambia. The company is Zambia’s biggest copper producer.

Copperbelt Energy Corp., the second-largest distributor of electricity to mines in Zambia, has stockpiled more than 3 million liters (792,516 gallons) of diesel and will secure additional fuel in the event of shortages, Chief Executive Officer Neil Croucher said in a telephone interview today from Kitwe.

To contact the reporter on this story: Geoffrey Kapembwa in Lusaka via Johannesburg at pmrichardson@bloomberg.net.

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