Uganda Welcomes Kilembe Copper Bids

Mining in kilembe was suspended in the 1980s due to low prices on the world market

Mining in kilembe was suspended in the 1980s due to low prices on the world market

The republic of Uganda is inviting potential investors to revamp its Kilembe copper mines in the western district of kasese.

Mining in Kilembe was suspended in the 1980s after the price of the metal on the world market dropped in addition to insecurity that plagued the country then.

The government expects the winner of the bid to invest an estimated $ 100 million.

“We already had a lot of inquiries from prospective investors (and) we are looking forward to a huge response,” Alex Kalimugogo, team leader at the finance ministry’s Privatisation Unit said.

The deadline for submission of bids is the end of this month.

This revelation comes at a time when the people in Kasese especially Kilembe where the mines are located have been living in expectancy of the resumption of mining following President Yoweri Museveni’s announcement in April that a Chinese company Gingko was set to restart mining.

The move by government will come partly as a disappointment to the locals who had built their hope around the Chinese who according to some were expected to re-start mining in September.

According to the junior minister of energy Peter Lokeris, the Chinese were left out citing violation of procurement rules of the country.

Kilembe has an estimated 4 million tonnes of ore, of which 1.98 percent is estimated to be pure copper and 0.17 percent cobalt.

10 percent of the area believed to hold copper ore deposits had been explored, meaning the successful bidder will have to resume production at the existing mines and also conduct fresh exploration.

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