Left to right, Hon. Evelyn Anite. Minister of State Privatization and Investment , Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu , Minister of Energy and Mineral Development and a representative of the late Sir George Rukidi who is also part of the share holders in the Kilembe mines during a Press Conference at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on April 12.

The Cabinet Minister of Energy and Mineral Development Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu has stated the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance inform the entire public that they have commenced the redevelopment of Kilembe mines.

Nankabirwa said this during a press conference at Uganda Media Centre on April 12 accompanied by some officials from the ministries of Energy and Finance

Kilembe mines are located on the foothills of Mountain Rwenzori in Kasese.These mines are commonly known as a copper deposit which was first exploited in 1906 and has been exploited since the the 1920 and in the 1950 it was incorporated and production started in 1956.

Exploitation of Copper steadily increased to a peak of 18000 tonnes Copper carthodes per year in the early 1970s.The operations included a copper smelter in Jinja ,Copper concentrate was transported from Kasese to Jinja by railway and government at that time controlled which was not done then production had to be suspended in 1977.

Nankabirwa adds that copper extraction seized in 1982 due to the degenerating smelter in Jinja .The global collapse of mineral prices,high inflation ,insecurity at that time affected production.

For over three decades the Kilembe mines have been dormant and government has made several attempts to revive it.

The following are the steps the two ministries have come up ;The UPDF Engineering Brigade was contacted to make the the three damaged bridges which were destroyed by the floods in 2020 as a way of bridging the gap for the investors to develop the mines .

The Kilembe mines have a variety of minerals other than Copper which are important in the social economic development of the country which can also diversify the economy of Uganda.

Copper extraction in Uganda will reduce on the importation fees Uganda uses to acquire the copper products.

Copper can be used to make coils on musical instruments ,electrical gadgets like the motors ,it can also be use in architecture, kitchen appliances like sinks among others

“Therefore Government has invinted investors or campanies to express their interest in partnering with government through a mineral sharing agreement,”says Nankabirwa.

With the revamp of these mines ,sources of employment shall be created for Ugandans hence earning of income which will be used to provide basic needs.

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