Government has released 4.2 billion shillings to revamp the dormant Kilembe Mines Limited-KML.
The Vice President Rtd. Maj. Jesca Alupo said the money will be used for fixing broken bridges, rehabilitate and restore the power supply before government succeeds in identifying an investor.
She added that the UPDF engineering brigade has started reconstructing bridges that were destroyed by floods in 2020 to ease accessibility to the mines.
Alupo said this on Tuesday while addressing a political rally in Karusandara sub-county to solicit votes for the NRM candidate for the Busongora South constituency by-election Gideon Mujungu.
Alupo said a number of potential investors have filed their interest and both the ministry of finance and energy are in advance stages to identify the successful one.
The investor will be awarded exploration license and will be required to carry out new explorations to see if more reserves of copper can be mined.
She added that the government had also paid off part of salary arrears for the staff maintaining the mines and was in the process of reaching an agreement with the family of Sir George David Kamurasi Rukiidi III who is a minority shareholder before the investor is introduced.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja said government has the resources to expand the electric fencing project around all communities neighbouring Queen Elizabeth national park to eliminate human-wildlife conflict.
Leaders in the sub county of Karusandara asked government to improve on the road network in the area and water coverage.
Copper extraction ceased in 1982 due to the degenerated smelter in Jinja, the global collapse of mineral commodity prices, dilapidated equipment, high inflation, and the insecurity at the time.
KML has been dormant for 30 years, however, the government has made several attempts to revive it.
The mines comprise a greenfield exploration area, a brownfield project comprising of a hard rock copper mine and processing plant, a hydro power plant known as Mubuku I, auxiliary mine facilities, cobalt-rich tailings, and associated minerals ‘(collectively referred to as “Kilembe Mines”) operated by KML.
In 2020, three devastating floods destroyed infrastructure at the mines including a tailings dam, Mobuku I hydropower plant, the industrial and domestic water system, the administration block, and workshops.
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