Uganda attempts to reopen an idled mine
estimated to contain 4 million tonnes of copper by inviting international firms
to present bids for a production sharing deal.
Once a major copper and cobalt
producer, the Kilembe copper mine was abandoned by Canadian firm Falconbridge
in the 1970s as the East African nation’s economy deteriorated under the
leadership of dictator Idi Amin Dada.
This is not the first time the Uganda
reviving the mine, near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Previous efforts, however, were thwarted by a commodities downturn a failed
2013 deal with group led by China’s Tibet Hima Mining, which had vowed to
invest $175 million in the asset.
The government cancelled the 25-year
concession in 2013 on grounds that Tibet Hima had failed to execute its mandate
as outlined in the permit. The Chinese firm sued the government and is seeking
compensation of at least $33 million in damages.
The country decided to retry bringing
Kilembe back to life in April this year. At the time, authorities said 28
companies had expressed interest in the project.
With files from Bloomberg