Uganda’s once successful Kilembe Mines Limited is set to re-open after the formal signing of the agreement held at the Ministry of Finance offices on Friday, September 6, 2013.
Incorporated in 1950 by Canadian firm Frobisher, Kilembe commenced mining production 6 years later but was later closed in 1982 after copper metal trading had fallen amidst political insecurity in the country.
“We are ready to start. At least by next month Tibet-Hima will be on the ground in Kilembe,” Li Weiguo, the Chairman of the Chinese consortium, Tibet-Hima told reporters.
Under the agreement, the assets to be ceded to Tibet-Hima by KML include its mining lease, exploration licences, the Mubuku hydro-power station, land, some core buildings and other physical assets as required to revive the mining operations.
The powerful consortium has in turn committed to pay an upfront fee of $4.03m (Shs10.4bn). In addition, it will annually pay Uganda $1.005m in concession fees while investing at least $175m in the first three years of its operations.
Tibet-Hima is expected to expand the copper ore reserves from the current 4.5 million tonnes seeing that more than 2000 acres of the mining lease remain unexplored.