NANCY SIAME, Lusaka
MOPANI Copper Mines (MCM) has maintained that it will not pay the revised electricity tariffs to the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC).
The mining firm maintained its position on the matter during a meeting with Minister of Mines and Minerals Development Christopher Yaluma in Lusaka on Monday.
Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development permanent secretary Paul Chanda said in an interview yesterday that MCM also maintained that it will go ahead to lay off the 4,700 workers because some of its operations have stalled due to restricted power supply by CEC.
Mr Chanda said the meeting, which lasted over 30 minutes, was called by Mr Yaluma to discuss the mining firm’s intention to cut down the labour force.
“Mopani is still adamant [not] to pay [revised tariffs]. There was a stalemate and they will continue talking with Government,” he said.
He said during the meeting, the minister made it clear to Mopani that Government does not want to see anyone retrenched at the mine.
“The minister maintained that he was there to discuss labour issues and not electricity tariffs,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda said MCM was scheduled to hold another meeting with the minister yesterday but it could not take place due to the burial programme of late former Minister of Health Joseph Kasonde.
He said another meeting is scheduled for today during which a conclusion is expected to be made.
Monday’s meeting was also attended by Ministry of Labour and Social Security permanent secretary Barnaby Mulenga, who represented his minister, Joyce Simukoko.