Uganda claims that recent exploration surveys show it has gold ore reserves of approximately 31 million tonnes. It wants to attract large investors to develop this sector, which is currently dominated by small wildcat miners.
Solomon Muyita, spokesperson of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development told Reuters that aerial exploration has been carried out in the country over the past two years. This was followed by analyses and geophysical and chemical surveys.
Muyita estimated that an estimated 320.158 tonnes of refined ore could be extracted from the 31,000,000 tonnes.
Karamoja was the most important location for the deposits. It is a large area of parched land in the country’s northeast corner, bordering Kenya. There were large reserves also discovered in the eastern, central and western parts of East Africa.
Muyita stated that Wagagai (a Chinese company) had established a mine at Busia, eastern Uganda. Production was scheduled to begin this year. He said that Wagagai had made $200 million in investments and that the mine would have a refinery unit.
President Yoweri Museveni’s government is trying to increase investment in mining to develop resources such as copper, iron ore and gold.
Early-year mining law was passed by Parliament. Once signed by the President, it will allow for the creation of a state-owned mining company.
The company will acquire a 15% share in all mining operations and investors will have to sign a production sharing agreement with the government. Investors previously received mining production licenses in a first-come-first-served manner.
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