MOPANI Copper Mines has with immediate effect suspended certain operations after Copperbelt Energy Corporation restricted power to the mining company’s units in Kitwe and Mufulira.
CEC’s move to restrict power is a result of the dispute by mining companies to pay the new electricity tariffs effected by Zesco Limited.
On Thursday, CEC switched off some installations, forcing Mopani to quickly evacuate underground miners to safety and suspend certain operations.
Responding to a query yesterday, Mopani public relations manager Nebert Mulenga confirmed the impasse saying “other details will follow soon”.
Mopani Copper Mines Plc wishes to confirm that the Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has restricted power supply to its assets in both Kitwe and Mufulira. The decision has arisen from a dispute over the implementation of new electricity tariffs, which Mopani and other mining companies have contested in court and the courts of law are yet to resolve the matter,
“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. Further details will be communicated as appropriate.”