A nationwide power blackout on Monday has affected copper mining operations in Zambia, forcing the country to import electricity.

The country was plunged into darkness on Monday night after a fire destroyed one of the transformers at the Leopard Hill sub station, the country’s main source of power, writes AFP.

Zambia’s state power utility ZESCO imported about 60MW from the Democratic Republic of Congo and used the 70mw it had in the emergency generators to mitigate the impact on the mining sector.

The copper processing plants were the most affected as they require continuous electricity supply.

Zambia faced a similar blackout two weeks ago after Zesco shut down two of its generators after reporting a problem.

It then imported electricity from Namibia and South Africa to resolve the shortage.