A multi-billion shilling iron ore smelting plant in Kabale district is set to become operational in May 2019.
The plant that is being constructed by Sino Mineral Investment Company Ltd in Buhara
sub-county is owned by Chinese businessman Kong Dong Sheng.
According to Sheng, the construction and installation of machinery gets underway this week.
“Since 2011 we have so far invested $7.3m in buying land as well as assessing the quality of the iron ore. We found out that iron ore in this area is of a good quality and by early May, we will begin smelting iron ore and later transport it to Jinja where there is a steel factory for making final products,” said Sheng.
Kong made the revelation on Friday while speaking at the signing of the memorandum of understanding with Kabale district leadership to start the mining of iron ore in Buhara sub-county at a function held at Bunyonyi Overland Resort.
Sheng as the executive director signed on behalf of Sino while Edmond Ntimba the acting chief administrative officer endorsed the memorandum, witnessed by the Kabale district chairperson Patrick Besigye Keihwa.
Sheng said that as part of corporate social responsibility, Sino will pay school fees to two students from Kabale district in the field of medicine and geology per year, for all the ten years they will be operating.
The company will also upgrade Rwakihirwa-Butare road which connects to the mining site to first grade murrum at a cost of sh330m.
He also added that they are also to construct a water source near the mining site to benefit residents.
Keihwa asked locals to embrace the company’s efforts in boosting development.
“We pray that locals cooperate with this company. What it is doing in the long run will benefit all of us as it will employ our people,” said Keihwa.