By Joel Kaguta
The government of Uganda has announced plans to advertise Kilembe Mines Limited so that the new investor revitalize the once powerful copper mine.
The mine closed in 1978 due to a number of reasons including price inflation and wars.
In 2013, a consortium led by Tibet-Hima Mining Company Limited won the competitive bid to manage, rehabilitate and operate Kilembe Mines Limited for 25 years until 2038.
However, the investor did not live to the government’s expectations and later breached the contract leading to the halt of the operation in 2017.
Now, to revitalize the mine, Cabinet resolved that government should look for a new investor to revamp the mine so that it contributes to the country economy and address the recurrence of flash floods.
To this effect, the Ugandan Vice President, Her Excellence Rtd. Maj. Jesca Alupo spent the whole of yesterday and toured many areas including Mubuku 1 Hydro-Power in Nyakalengijo, Kasese Cobalt Company Limited and finally stopped in Kilembe Mines.
She told the district officials at Kilembe Golf Course in Katonzi cell in Bulembia Division that government has decided to look for a potential investor ready to extract the underground minerals and subsequently work on the flash floods.
According to Alupo, cabinet has directed the Ministry of Energy and Mineral development to advertise the mine so that a potential investor takes over the operationalization of the mine.
She also disclosed that the line ministries including works and water and Environment have also been directed to ensure that other rivers in the district are worked upon.
The State Minister of Mineral and Energy, Hon. Peter Lokaris said Kilembe Mines still has abundance of minerals which needed to be optimally utilized and cause development in the area.
Irene Batebe, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development told the press shortly after the meeting that her office is already working on an application inviting interested companies and firms.
She assured the public that the process is going to be competitive.
Mr. Alex Kwatampora, Executive Managing Director for Mpora Geo-Tech Consultants Limited based in Kasese town told our reporter that the mining area stretches close to 25-40 kilometers to the board with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the surrounding areas.
Mr. Kwatampora added that government needed to do more explorations to ascertain the grades and quantity of the minerals.