Jane Yaqiong Guo, executive director Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group Co. Ltd told a mining conference in Kampala that the plant would produce a brand of fertilisers that would triple crop yields for Uganda’s farmers.
The Chinese company, Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group Co. Ltd is set to commission a fertiliser phosphate plant with a production capacity of 100,000 tonnes and the bricks factory at the Sukulu Hills in Tororo district.
Jane Yaqiong Guo, executive director Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group Co. Ltd told a mining conference in Kampala that the plant would produce a brand of fertilisers that would triple crop yields for Uganda’s farmers. The plant is set to be commissioned on October 23.
“Ugandan farmers should expect fertilisers that are organic and different from the inorganic ones on the market. Instead of wearing out the soils, the fertilisers will actually improve them while boosting crop yields,” she said.
Jane Yaqiong Guo said they have been able to make special fertilisers for rice, maize, tea, vegetable, Irish potatoes and soybeans targeting the attributes of these crops to enable them produce higher yields.
In 2014 Uganda awarded a mining lease to the group to mine and process iron ore into steel and phosphates into fertilisers. The $620m (sh2.3trillion) project is adding value to Uganda’s mining industry.
Guo said the company would import about about 200,000 tonnes of coal a year for steel milling which means they will be producing coal gas that would pollute the environment.
“We intend to use the gas to burn silica sand from the shores of Lake Victoria to produce glass sand. As such we will not pollute the environment,” she said.
Guo explained that the coal will be imported from South Africa because the coal from Tanzania is not suitable because it has low calories and the one in Mozambique is not largely processed.
The company has created 1,200 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs which will positively impact on the welfare of the locals.
Naomi Nangaku, senior mineral dresser, department of geological survey and mines said that of the many untapped minerals once exploited and processed within Uganda, the contribution to GDP could go up to about 40% from the current 3%.
The conference was organized by the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum and the ministry of energy and mineral development.
The total reserves of phosphates that have been quantified in Uganda are 280million tonnes valued at $28.84b (price of $103/tonnes) with royalty (5%) value estimated at $1.4 trillion.
The steel production will start in July 2019 as fabrication of the machinery is still going on in China, while its transportation alone may take up to six months.
“Just like a porridge made by god, Sukulu mine is a mix of various elements, therefore, how to recover and utilize them is quite challenging,” Guo said.
Zackary Baguma, director geological survey and mines department said Uganda is richly endowed with mineral resources.
“Government intends to develop these resources in partnership with private sector in a sustainable manner,” Baguma said.