The Sunday Times has reported that the Gupta-owned Optimum Coal Mine wants to be paid a higher price for supplying coal to Eskom.
Eskom executives are reportedly negotiating with the mine on the price increase.
This is despite Optimum Coal Mine missing coal supply delivery targets to the Hendrina power station in Mpumalanga.
The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism reported that Tegeta Exploration and Resources, which sources coal from the Optimum Coal Mine, was threatening Eskom’s coal supply.
Tegeta Exploration and Resources is owned by the Gupta family, President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, and Trillian’s Salim Essa.
According to the amaBhungane report, Tegeta threatened Eskom that it would halt coal supplies unless it gets paid more.
The Optimum mine has a controversial history, with allegations that Eskom assisted the Gupta-family’s Tegeta to purchase the mine.
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe is accused of blocking investment company Pembani from purchasing the mine, while assisting Tegeta with the deal.
According to the City Press, Tegeta did not have the money to buy the Optimum mine, and Eskom stepped in to help.
“Anoj Singh, CFO at Eskom, said Eskom provided Absa with a R1.6-billion guarantee in favour of Tegeta,” reported the City Press.
Eskom also approved a R659-million prepayment to Tegeta relating to coal supply from the Optimum mine.
“This means that Eskom, for all purposes, bought the mine and handed it over to Tegeta.”