LUSAKA May 17 Zambia is close to reaching an
agreement with mining companies over its plans to increase
electricity prices, Finance Minister Felix Mutati said on
The government last month proposed introducing a flat tariff
of 9.30 U.S. cents/kilowatt hour (kWh) backdated to January for
mining companies, instead of individually negotiated rates that
have averaged 6 U.S. cents/kWh, but mining companies opposed the
A team headed by the minister of energy was due to hold
talks with mining companies this week, including First Quantum
"We have concluded with all the mining houses except for
one. They have accepted our proposal to actually pay 9.33
cents/kwh," Mutati told Reuters.
However, an agreement has not yet been reached on
backdating the higher tariffs to January as proposed by power
firm Zesco Ltd, he said.
"It is part of the negotiations but ideally that is what the
government is considering," Mutati said.
Other mining companies operating in Zambia, Africa's No. 2
copper producer, include Glencore of Switzerland,
Brazil's Vale and London-listed Vedanta Resources
Last week Zambia's Energy Regulation Board (ERB) approved a
75 percent increase in the price of electricity for retail
(Reporting by Chris Mfula; Editing by James Macharia and Susan