Konkola Copper Mine (KCM) says it has one of the highest power tariffs in Zambia following the decision by the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to increase its charges by over 100 percent.
KCM public relations and communications manager Shapi Shachinda said despite the increase in tariff charges, the mining company had not received a corresponding upgrade of service.
Mr Shachinda however said KCM was seeking to resolve the dispute with CEC amicably as both parties had financial claims and counter-claims against each other which needed to be resolved through the appropriate dispute resolution mechanism.
He said KCM had consistently abided by the terms of its agreements with CEC and the provisions in the Power Supply Agreement (PSA) of 2000. Mr Shachinda said CEC conceded that it restricted power supply to KCM on account of the mining company’s failure to pay its invoices for consumed electricity. “In the early hours of Wednesday 24th September Konkola Copper Mines experienced flooding at its Nchanga underground mine,” he said. Mr Shachinda said it was KCM’s view that such a move resulted from power restrictions that were introduced without notice by the CEC. And Mr Shachinda has revealed that power supply had now been restored to KCM. The CEC is claiming over US$ 44 million in unpaid electricity bills.