Zambian Mining Lobby Granted Court Review of Raised Power Prices

Zambia’s mining lobby for companies like Glencore Plc and Barrick Gold Corp. was granted a judicial review into whether the country raised power tariffs lawfully.

The Chamber of Mines, representing local units of Glencore, Barrick and First Quantum Minerals Ltd., challenged the Energy Regulation Board’s April decision to raise prices more than 28 percent, Chief Executive Officer Maureen Jangulo Dlamini said. The lobby says that the energy regulator for Africa’s second-biggest copper producer failed to use correct procedures.

“There is a process that has to be followed,” Dlamini said today by mobile phone from the Zambian capital of Lusaka. “I think that’s what we’re contesting.”

The energy board received notification of the review, Agnes Phiri, a spokeswoman, said by mobile phone. A review considers whether the process used in a decision was carried out lawfully.

The regulator met with the chamber after the lobby asked it to reconsider the increase in prices, Phiri said from Ndola.

Older copper operations with higher costs will struggle to absorb the increased tariffs, according to the chamber. The regulator in April cited public demands to raise charges for a mining industry that uses up about half the nation’s power.

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