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Chinese firm to invest $100m in Uganda copper mine

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China’s Gingko Energy Company plans to invest $100 million over a five-year period to revive production at Kilembe copper mine in western Uganda, the African country’s president’s office said.

Gingko’s chairman, Lin Rui Hui, told President Yoweri Museveni of the investment plans on Friday.

Uganda’s Department of Geological Survey and Mines said Kilembe has an estimated 4 million tonnes of ore, of which 1.98 percent is estimated to be pure copper and 0.17 percent cobalt.

The mine was abandoned in the early 1980s due to political turmoil and a fall in copper prices but in recent years the government has been seeking an investor to resume production.

Prices of the metal have rebounded, creating interest among investors. London Metal Exchange benchmark three-month copper futures were trading at around $8,400 a tonne on Monday.

Production at Kilembe peaked in the 1970s at around 18,000 tonnes of copper cathode a year. The mine was formerly operated by Canada-based Falconbridge Ltd, which was later acquired by Xstrata.

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