Government searching for financier to invest Shs76b in minerals survey

By Christine Kasemiire

Kampala. Ministry of Energy has said government is searching for an investor to acquire the remaining 20 per cent aerial mineral surveys in the Karamoja sub-region.
Speaking during the 7th annual mineral wealth conference in Kampala, Mr Robert Kasande, the Ministry of Energy permanent secretary, said: “We are working hard to find an investor who can help support us acquire the remaining 20 per cent.”

Uganda has been conducting surveys in a bid to gather information about the mineral sector.
The process has, according to Mr Kasande, covered 80 per cent of the country leaving 20 per cent particularly in the Karamoja area. The survey is expected to cost $20m (Shs76b).

“Government carried out extensive acquisition and registering of airborne geophysical data. This covered 80 per cent of the country,” he said adding that the surveys culminated into the discovery of rich minerals such as gold, platinum, premium and limestone, among others.
Uganda has been compiling a mineral database to streamline information outreach mainly by interested investors.

The Ministry of Energy, Mr Kasande said, is also undertaking follow up reserves of iron ore in southwestern Uganda with about 100m tonnes of reserves in Kabale already mapped.
Government is also taking stock of other minerals around the country as a measure to mitigate illegal flow of minerals.

Mr Kasande was reacting to remarks made by Mr Richard Henry Kaijuka, the chairman board of trustees Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, who asked government to fast-track the establishment of a National Mineral Laboratory.
“The laboratory would provide the much needed support to players within this sector instead of shipping soil and rock samples to South Africa, Tanzania and Europe, among others,” he said.

Artisanal miners. According to Mr Thomas Ole-Kuyan, the United Nations Development Programme deputy director, artisanal and small scale miners need to be integrated into mineral supply chains to assist them grow professionally.

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