Seven companies in race to revive Kilembe Mines

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has shortlisted seven companies from which the best one will be chosen to rejuvenate Kilembe Mines that has been redundant for many years.

Speaking during a press briefing about the forthcoming 12th annual Mineral Wealth conference slated for October, 30 to 31 at Kampala Serena hotel on Tuesday, Vincent Kedi, the Commissioner for Licensing in the Ministry of Energy said soon government will announce the winning bid for revamption of the mines to kick off.

"We had about 14 companies expressing interest to revamp Kilembe mines and  after shortlisting, there are  about seven successful ones that  have been requested now to submit RST documents meaning they are submitting their proposals and how they're going to revamp Kilembe,” Kedi said.

Kilembe Mines was established and incorporated in 1950 and registered the highest copper production in the 70s when maximum output soared to an annual 17,000 tonnes.

The success lasted until 1982 when the  mine was left  on a care- and-maintenance basis as copper extraction ceased.

Kilembe Mines has been dormant for over 30 years but government has made several attempts at reviving it.

The mines comprise a greenfield exploration area, a brownfield project comprising of a hard rock copper mine and processing plant, a hydro power plant known as Mubuku I, auxiliary mine facilities, cobalt-rich tailings, and associated minerals ‘(collectively referred to as “Kilembe Mines”) operated by Kilembe Mines Limited.

Speaking on Tuesday, the official from the Ministry of Energy said if all goes according to plan, the mines will be revamped by next year.

"We have already subjected this to an evaluation process and post qualification or due diligence process and then we're able to get an investor who will partner with another mining company, which is being set up to revamp Kilembe mines."

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