Court sets Date for Ruling on Suspension of Kilembe Mines Divestiture

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The High Court in Kampala has set April 4th as the date for the hearing of a case filed by Uganda Gold Mining Company against the divestiture of Kilembe Mines Limited.
Uganda Gold Mining was contracted by government in 2005 to conduct a scoping study on the various development alternatives for processing existing cobalt rich tailings and the mineral deposits located in the Kilembe region. The study was also intended to examine the economic viability of alternative methods of treating cobalt and copper concentrates and the use of a cobalt refinery located some 14 kilometers from the mines.
During that period Uganda Gold Mining purchased 70 percent shares of the government-owned company, Kilembe Mines Limited. The handover of the shares angered the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, which said Uganda Gold's purchase was unsolicited and had not been subjected to due diligence.
However before the matter could be sorted out, Uganda Gold Mining suspended its operations in 2001 because a nosedive in world copper prices.
Fred Kyakonye Weraga, General Manager of Kilembe Mines Limited, says government attempted to sort out the conflict through arbitration. He explains that because this process delayed, government sought court intervention to obtain compensation from Uganda Gold, while at the same time seeking an alternative buyer for Kilembe Mines Limited.
Uganda Gold responded by seeking an injuction against the divestiture process, which will be heard on April 4th.
More than 69 foreign companies have already shown interest in purchasing partnering with Kilembe Mines Limited shares. The rise in interest follows the release of a geophysical survey by the Ministry of Energy which indicated that there is a wealth of copper deposits in the Kilembe region.