Uganda: Hima disputed Dura quarries open in October

Uganda: Hima disputed Dura quarries open in October
Published: 26 August 2008

Hima Cement starts mining limestone from Dura in October this year a development that could see the company double its production to 480,000t to meet growing regional demand.
Mr Allen T Mate Hima plant manager said recently they were close to completing upgrading the roads, bridges and site offices ready to start quarrying in the area.
"But we are treading very carefully in respect to the environmental agreements we signed in this regard" he told Daily Monitor in an interview last week.
The growing demand for cement in the country which has pushed cement prices upwards has sent money flowing into the cement maker’s coffers of Tororo and Hima Cement but it is expected by industrial players that prices could drop with more supply volumes.
Hima Cement is counting on this expansion and the vast lime stone reserves at Dura to launch an onslaught on Tororo Cement its main competitor in the country.
Mr Mate said the company finished the first phase platform of the new cement mill and packaging plant in preparation for massive production.
The plant’s expansion would take place over the next three years costing about $108m.
The company said it faced challenges such as bad roads and unreliable power. MrMate said as part of the expansion plan the company would also produce clinker upon completing building kilns by 2010.
Clinker, the raw material for cement, is produced by baking limestone in a kiln.
But as Hima prepares to quarry limestone, Dura Cement Ltd has dragged government to Court seeking compensation for allegedly canceling their cement mining lease concession without notice or explanation.
The company investors have asked court to compel the government to reinstate their lease and declare that the cancellation was illegal.
If Dura Cement wins the case against government, the Ugandan taxpayers may foot $400m (over sh640b as compensation to an Indian investor.