17 January 2013

Uganda: Five Firms Shortlisted for Kilembe Mines

A short list of five international companies out of nine which expressed interest in investing in Kilembe Mines Limited has been recommended to proceed to the final stage of the privatisation process following a one-month procurement evaluation exercise.

New Vision has learnt that the international tender process, which has now entered the final Request For Proposal Stage (RFP), will only feature Gingko Energy Investments (China), Sino-Steel Ltd (China), Tibet- Hima (China), Shree Minerals (Australia) and Konkola Copper Mines of Zambia.

The consortiums that failed to make the grade, according to sources, are Shimuk Investments (Uganda); Wharton Asset Management (UK); Springwood Capital (UK) and Kombat Copper of Canada.

Jim Mugunga, the Ministry of Finance spokesman refused to neither confirm nor deny the shortlist when contacted. He said whereas the process is being expedited and an evaluation process has been completed, "there are internal reporting mechanisms which need to be adhered to before we go public with the details."

Mugunga confirmed, however, that under the process; only shortlisted bidders will be entitled to receive the RFP and participate in the bid preparation stage.

He reaffirmed that there are clear instructions from the Government to expedite the process so that mining activities are revamped in Kilembe and that the Privatisation Unit is working towards achieving that goal.

"We are all desirous of ensuring that this transaction is progressed as fast as possible while adhering to established guidelines and the related laws," he said.

Mugunga clarified that despite existence of multiple government entities and committees involved in the divestiture process of Kilembe in compliance with the set guidelines, they are all "cognizant of the need to remove unnecessary bureaucratic barriers to investments; speed up to tap into the improved current global prices of copper, as well as work towards playing a positive role in the broader government initiative for both industrialisation and minerals' processing."

The privatisation process for Kilembe Mines is expected to be completed by May this year.

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