JOHANNESBURG, May 25 -- An Anglo American Plc zinc mine paid 43 percent less for electricity from South African utility Eskom Holdings Ltd. than local governments that redistribute the power to households, according to Energy Minister Dipuo Peters.
The Skorpion mine paid an average 18 South African cents (2 U.S. cents) a kilowatt hour last fiscal year, compared with the 31.8 cents charged to municipalities, Peters said in a written response to questions in parliament today.
Opposition lawmakers pressured Eskom to reveal its long- term contracts with Anglo and BHP Billiton Ltd. as the utility is short of funding to expand capacity and avoid rolling power cuts that plunged South Africa into darkness in 2008.
Eskom is renegotiating prices with Anglo and BHP and talks haven't yet been concluded, Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan said in a separate reply to questions today.
Anglo said May 10 it was selling Skorpion, in Namibia, and other zinc operations to Vedanta Resources Plc. Talks between Anglo and Eskom on prices had made "significant progress," Anglo spokesman Pranill Ramchander said by mobile phone today.