Seven mining companies in North western and Copperbelt Provinces have started paying the revised electricity tariffs. These are Konkola Copper mines, Barrick, Luanshya Mines, Kansanshi, Chambeshi Mines and the Non-Ferrous mining Company among others. The Chambers of Mines has confirmed the development to ZNBC News.
And First Quantum Minerals Country representative General Kingsley Chinkuli says negotiations are currently under way with the Ministry of Energy over the revised tariffs. General Chinkuli says First Quantum Minerals the owners of Kalumbila and Kansanshi mines will issue a comprehensive statement on the matter today.
Meanwhile, stakeholders in the mining sector have urged Mopani Copper Mines to pay for the revised electricity tariffs to foster economic development and job creation in the Country. The Mine workers Union of Zambia (MUZ) says it fully supports Government’s calls on all mining companies including Mopani to pay the revised electricity tariffs to sustain national development.
MUZ General Secretary Joseph Chewe says there’s need for Mopani and Copperbelt Energy Corporation to put the interests of the Zambian economy and plight of workers first and reach an amicable solution on the impasse.
And the Mine Suppliers and Contractors Association of Zambia President Augustine Mubanga says ZESCO produces the power being sold to the Copperbelt Energy Corporation at a cost hence the need for Mining firms to pay the revised rates.
Meanwhile, Minister of Energy David Mabumba yesterday held talks with Mopani and CEC over the standoff between the two companies on the revised electricity tariffs and has given Copperbelt Energy Corporation(CEC) and Mopani Copper Mines up to last evening to settle their outstanding commercial differences on the new electricity tariffs.
Mr. Mabumba issued the directive after meeting officials from CEC and Mopani Copper Mine yesterday. Mr. Mabumba directed the two parties to go back to the negotiating table and re-negotiate the recent hikes in electricity tariffs adding that was urgent need for Mopani Copper Mines to resume its normal operations in the quickest possible time.
The Minister of Energy explained that MCM is of the view that the current hike in electricity tariffs by CEC is way too expensive and this has forced the CEC to restrict power supply to the mine.
Mr. Mabumba wants the two parties to find a way of resolving their difference by coming up with a payment system that will benefit the two parties.
MCM has sent hundreds of miners’ home following the commercial dispute and is losing 3 Million US Dollars daily following the restriction of power to the firm by the CEC.