KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
KONKOLA Copper Mines (KCM) says there is need to implement the same tariff rate for all mining companies as opposed to the current situation where entities pay different electricity tariffs.
At present, different mines pay different tariffs based on the investment agreements that were privately negotiated with the Government after privatisation of Zambia Consolidated Copper Mine.
KCM chief executive officer Steven Din said the industry is in support of the decision by Government to migrate to cost-reflective tariffs.
“Of course the cost of power does affect production, and it is our hope that there will be consideration to us as having high cost mining operations,” Mr Din said in a recent interview.
Nevertheless, KCM has been implementing power saving and usage measures to reduce costs.
“KCM pays some of the highest tariffs but we want to see other mines paying similar tariffs as opposed to paying different rates,” he said.
The Energy Regulation Board approved tariffs for non-mining consumers of 50 percent last May, and an additional 25 percent this September.
Negotiations with mining consumers have been ongoing, and it have been agreed that effective January 1, 2017, mining tariffs will increase to US$9.30 per kilowatt.
Thereafter, the mining tariffs will be determined based on the results of the cost of service study, which Government has commissioned to guide future prices and its results are expected by end of this year.