Kasese — The government has unveiled plans to revive copper mining in the Kilembe Mines found in western Uganda which ceased production in early 1982.
According to the Public Relations Officer in the Privatization Unit Mr. Jim Mugunga the government is calling for interested companies to apply for the concession under the Public Private Partnership.
"With the increase in demand for copper world wide the government of Uganda has realized the need to re-start copper mining at her Kilembe mines in western Uganda.
"It will exercise its mandate under the public enterprises and reform divestiture ACT of the laws of Uganda 2000 to implement the Divestiture of Kilembe Mines Limited through a Public Private Partnership," explained Mugunga.
Mugunga said the concession to be signed between the bid winner and government will be long term and this will give rights to the company to own all the assets belonging to the mining company Kilembe Mines Limited both at Jinja and in Kasese.
About the bidding process Mugunga told the EABW that selecting the PPP partner will be through a competitive bidding process which will be preceded by the request for confirmation of interest by which respondents will be preliminary evaluated and selected to participate in the subsequent request for qualifications.
He stressed that although government wants private companies to apply for the tender. Mugunga explained that interested companies must meet certain conditions for them to participate in the PPP with government.
Among the requirements according to Mugunga, the bidder must have appropriate skills related to copper mining, the ability for the company to finance or obtain financing for the investment among other conditions.
"The government automatically will prefer working with a company that have qualified staff and the successful one will enter concession agreement with government and take over the rehabilitation of the assets resuscitate the KML mining operations and commitment to exploring for potential further deposits within the concession, " he said.
Some of the assets which the winner of the tender will have to manager and also rehabilitate include the Hydro-electric power plant, lime works timber treatment plants, mining plants, foundry, hospital and electrical workshops among other assets.
Kilembe Mines Limited a company incorporated under the companies Act of Uganda and its shares are 99.06% owned by the Government of Uganda.
Fred Kyakonye Weraga the KML General Manager told the EABW that when mining ceased the company and its assets started operating on a care and maintenance basis.