By Ritah Kemigisa
The government through the finance and energy mineral development ministries and management of Kilembe mines limited have commenced the redevelopment of Kilembe Mines.
For thirty years, the largest copper mines with an estimated 18,000 tonnes of copper have been dormant.
The extraction of copper ceased in 1982 due to the degenerated smelter in Jinja, the general collapse of mineral commodity prices, high inflation, and dilapidated equipment among others.
In 2020, floods destroyed infrastructure at the mines including a tailings dam, and Mobuku 1 hydropower plant among others.
However, in a joint statement by the energy minister Ruth Nankabirwa and the privatisation and investment minister Evelyn Anite, the UPDF Engineering brigade is on the ground to carry out restoration works.
The two ministers say Kilembe mines have unmatched potential and their redevelopment will boost industrialisation, offer employment opportunities and increase revenue.
They add that they have now invited companies to express interest to partner with the government through a mineral production sharing agreement.
“This restoration of the mines to an attractive state and the process of procuring an investor is a significant step to achieve the presidential directive to the cabinet to get investors to refine our copper for cables, transformers and aluminium industries as well as military.”