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The East African : Oct 13th 2014
6 Special advertising section The EastAfrican UGANDA@52 OCTOBER 11-17, 2014 Country eyes entry into the miners’ club Minimal exploration work has confirmed that Uganda has tonnes of vermiculite which is unexploited, making Uganda host to the largest deposits globally. has made substantial discove≥ies of oil and gas, p≥ecious and base metals and gemstones which have qualified the count≥y to join the mine≥al ≥ich club. It was not until 2003, that U the secto≥ got the Wo≥ld Bank, the Af≥ican Development Bank and No≥dic Development Fund that ≥aised $47 million fo≥ ai≥ bone su≥veys, geological su≥vey, mapping on the g≥ound and ≥ebuilding the labo≥ato≥ies and t≥aining as a way fo≥ ≥esta≥ting the mine≥al secto≥. The count≥y howeve≥, has t≥ansfo≥med the hu≥dles into oppo≥tunities and fifty-two yea≥s on, it has developed human capacities, imp≥oved upon secu≥ity and cu≥≥ently att≥acting capital to the secto≥. Today the count≥y has geo- science data which shows that besides oil and gas ≥esou≥ces, the count≥y has gold, u≥anium, ve≥miculite, i≥on o≥e, coppe≥, bentonite, cobalt, ≥a≥e ea≥th and phosphates. The task now is to att≥act investo≥s to ≥aise the ≥equi≥ed capital fo≥ fu≥the≥ explo≥ation d≥illing, mining and value addition of the mine≥als. “Latest data is available at the depa≥tment and online. Companies want the ≥esou≥ces ganda’s e≠o≥ts to sea≥ch fo≥ mine≥als have not been in vain — the count≥y to be available and to be su≥e about the sove≥eign ≥isks. Once we have success sto≥ies we a≥e going to have floods of companies coming to invest,” said Joshua Tumuhai≥we, fo≥me≥ commissione≥, Geological Su≥vey and Mines depa≥tment. This data is a point of ≥efe≥- ence fo≥ potential investo≥s in the secto≥. The data alongside explo≥ations in the oil and gas secto≥ fo≥ example has de-≥isked the count≥y, a facto≥ that has seen mo≥e companies apply to explo≥e fo≥ the hyd≥oca≥bons. Minimal explo≥ation wo≥k, fo≥ instance, has confi≥med that Uganda has tonnes of ve≥miculite which is unexploited, making Uganda host to the la≥gest deposits globally. Although ve≥miculite is not conside≥ed a sexy mine≥al, expe≥ts said its exploitation p≥ovides fa≥ bigge≥ employment oppo≥tunities. Ea≥ly this month, Uganda Chambe≥ of Mines and Pet≥oleum held Uganda’s mine≥al wealth confe≥ence to show case Uganda’s mine≥al potential with a view to att≥act capital and inve≥to≥s. Indust≥y playe≥s estimate that explo≥ation wo≥k alone ≥equi≥es between $2m and $5m initial capital which local companies cannot ≥aise because the banks a≥e not inte≥ested in financing p≥ojects that bea≥ inhe≥ent ≥isks. Banks p≥efe≥ to o≠e≥ c≥edit to companies afte≥ majo≥ discove≥ies have been made. “P≥actically, the≥e is no bank that will put its money into explo≥ation. Howeve≥, the≥e a≥e those junio≥ companies that have access to fo≥eign stock ma≥kets that do have funds dedicated into buying into those investments,” said M≥. Richa≥d Kaijuka, Vice Chai≥man, Uganda National Chambe≥ of Mines and Pet≥oleum. Uganda cu≥≥ently ea≥ns close to $50million f≥om mine≥al expo≥ts. That is expected to g≥ow with mo≥e investments into the secto≥, including upg≥ading technology that is used to explo≥e and ext≥act the mine≥als. The≥e a≥e seve≥al a≥tisanal mine≥s in the count≥y. Tanzania is the only East Af≥ican count≥y that has well developed mine≥al secto≥. It has six wo≥ld class mines and has managed to att≥act the big playe≥s like the Ba≥≥ick Gold afte≥ junio≥ playe≥ made the discove≥ies. DRC is anothe≥ count≥y that has well established mine≥al secto≥ in spite of the political instability. This is att≥ibuted to the e≠o≥ts of the Belgian colonialists who invested in data collection, geological mapping and explo≥ations.
Oct 6th 2014
Oct 20th 2014