In its 25-year contract, Tibet Hima Company Limited, the new Chinese owners of Kilembe Mines Company Limited, will extract five million tonnes of copper.
Tibet took over at Kilembe Mines early this year. Copper in Kilembe mines in Kasese municipality was discovered in 1908. Exploration and mining started in 1956. In 1956, 16 million tons of copper were explored and due to capital constraints on the part of investors, more areas were not explored for copper and were kept as reserves.
The mayor of Kasese municipality, Godfrey Kabbyanga, said the known copper exploited in 1956 was more than 4.1 million tons. He said mining business needs a lot of money and persistence. He said the mining business contributed 30 per cent to the national economy before 1980 until coffee and cotton leapfrogged it.
Kabbyanga added that by 2010, the Uganda Investment Authority had registered 500 mining companies and Tibet Hima was the biggest project registered in that year. He said for Tibet Hima to get value on their investment in their 25-year contract, they need to extract five million tonnes of copper.
He added that in Kilembe hills, only, more than four million tonnes of copper have been explored, though mining has not yet started. Tibet Hima will also produce 12 MW of power from River Mubuku.
“We are still in the exploration process and after that we shall do the renovation of the assets which Tibet inherited from the government and the dam is also going to be upgraded because it cannot generate enough electricity for the
mines and copper processing,” Alex Kwatampora, a consultant for Tibet Hima, said earlier.
Source : The Observer