Glencores Zambia Operation – Mopani Copper Mines Plc has confirmed that the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has restricted power supply to its mines in both Kitwe and Mufulira.
Mopani says the decision has arisen from a dispute over the implementation of new electricity tariffs, which the firm and other mining companies have contested in court and the courts of law are yet to resolve the matter. The CEC are in court with the mines collectivley with a claim of around $360million.
It said while awaiting the determination of the matter in court, Mopani Copper Mines Plc has continued to consistently pay the tariffs as stipulated in the existing legal contract with CEC.
“In the interest of safety, Mopani has with immediate effect suspended operations in certain areas, and all our miners who were underground at the time of restricting power supply, have successfully returned to the surface,” it said in a statement released on Saturday.
Power tariffs have been a very sensitive topical issue especially in relation to the upward adjected rates. Zambia’s Monopoly power generation company ZESCO has approval for 75% hike this year with 50% implemented in May and the remaining 25% to be effected in September. The entity has been operating under water hence the operational efficiency challenges experienced with trickle to entities it sells power to like CEC.
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