Report Says Miners Not Paying Karamoja Royalties

A report by conducted in April by Ecological Christian Organisation (ECO) and Uganda Consortium on Corporate Accountability (UCCA) reveals that minng companies are paying the 3 percent royalty levy to land owners in Karamoja as stipulated in the Mining Act.

"Royalty payments often do not reach landowners and payment problems are compounded by the complex nature of land. There is lack of clarity as to where these payments should go in those cases where mined land is communally owned," Ms Phillo Aryatwijuka, the programme officer ECO, is quoted by Daily Monitor.

Many communities in the region, she said, were not receiving their royalties due to the communal nature of land whose rightful owners could not be verified legally. Communities in areas around Tororo Cement mining Limestone, for instance, have never received their 3 per cent in royalties.

To solve the problem, ECO and UCCA suggested that the communities organise themselves in groups to acquire communal land titles.

Artisanal and Small scale mining in Karamoja is one of the biggest economic activities in the region employing 20,000 miners with 54,000 direct and induced labourers. A total of 432,000 people in households depend on incomes from ASM.

African Gold Refinery Calls For Gold Smuggling End

Gold smugglers from Uganda continue to take advantage of weak checking systems and smuggle gold through airlines out of Uganda. 

Mr. Alain Goetz, Managing Director African Gold Refinery said there is a chronic issue of gold trafficked as hand luggage on  commercial  airlines which needs to be stopped. Mr. Goetz while speaking as a guest speaker during the Mineral Wealth Conference said smuggling gold out of Uganda will stifle the value addition process of gold. He added that the smuggling denies Uganda large amounts of revenues and royalties. 

“AGR is in the business of adding value to the precious minerals and testing soil samples for precious mineral occurrences. AGR focus is on high responsible sourcing of gold, extensive KYC Know Your Customer and due diligence programs,” Mr. Goetz said 

He urged NGOs should not kill the development of Uganda’s gold and mining industry through false reports. He said host country governments are the main stakeholders to promote good mining practices. 

He called for accreditation initiatives for gold refineries. “These are initiatives that certify gold and silver refinery regulated by the government entities,” he said. 

Mr. Alaba Kuterema, Commissioner Mines Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines-Future of ASM and development minerals in Uganda said the mining sector players are faced with many challenges that can be addressed. Kuterema said Uganda’s mining sector is so far dominated by artisanal and small scale miners. 

The sector she said faces challenges which include; inadequate legal, regulatory and institutional framework to govern ASM, poor access to geological information, conflict between ASM and medium and large scale miners. 

Others are use of poor technologies that compound lack of compliance to Safety, Health and Environmental Standards, Limited access to business growth capital that increases child labour, gender inequity and harmful mining practices. 

The activities of ASM create land and natural resource degradation, high occupational Health and Safety Risks, non – compliance to Environmental standards that compromise sustainable mining standards, gender inequalities, income disparities between men and women ; poor technologies that exclude women from certain mining activities. 

She said to overcome these challenges appropriate licensing regime for ASMs  is required including the development minerals, strengthen linkages with Local Government for close monitoring, map and designate specific sites for ASMs, provide for progressive development of ASM, encourage local content and participation. 

She noted that creating and finding alternative economic activity for ASM players is key alongside mining. She noted uncontrolled mining by ASM makes them a major environmental risk. She added that formalization and regulation is key in ensuring sustainable development is a critical need. 

Mr. Johann Kisekulo, Development and Implementation of an Electronic Traceability system for ASM Gold Mining & Trade in Kampene, Maniema Province DR Congo said the DRC Ministry of Mines has been focused on strengthening of transparency and control in the raw materials sector in Eastern DRC 

BGR, a German institution and DRC, ministry of Mines introduced and implemented the Certified Trading Chains (CTC) for mineral conflict materials 3TG (Tin, Tantalum, Tungsten + Gold) 

The CTC ensures legal trade, certified production, and social environmental standards’ protection during mining, extraction and processing of the minerals. 

The goal is to improve ASM trade and supply chains to reduce conflict financing in the Great lakes Region due to illegal supply and smuggling of 3TG minerals.  It seeks to reduce lost revenue in the form of taxes and royalties to Government; lost revenue is a great hindrance to Infrastructure development in the region. CTC helps to meet compliance with the OECD guidelines so as to improve product value, confidence by International buyers. 

At Kampene, DRC, a gold pilot study was conducted. Out of 10 gold co-operatives in the area four were selected for the study. 

IBES AG developed the GOTS TM platform to provide electronic traceability system for all ASM. GOTS TM provides a low – conform tech platform and audit / certification framework that implements secure trade documents and proof of origin system for the precious / mineral supply chain. 

Identity cards with chips have been developed for dealers in the sector. Mobile phones, tablets and computers with installed software that identifies persons and bags are used in the traceability system making it easy for ASM players. 

GOTS Mineral Trace TM platform can be adopted and customized for any country in the Great Lakes Region. The platform can be extended to cover development minerals sector (sand, stone gravel etc.). The benefits to governments are improved revenue collection tax and royalties. He said this system can be developed in any country and can cover any mineral.

Security Agencies Thwart Shs370m Fake Gold Scam

A team of security officers arrested people selling what is believed to be fake gold to a Chinese investor. Some of the arrested individuals were from DR Congo and Cameroon; working with Ugandan accomplices. 

The Chinese investor indentified as Star Young was lured to travel to Uganda with the prospect of buying gold. Upon arriving in the country, he was linked to one James Byaruhanga, who said he had a company which deals in gold.

“It's alleged that Yang was showed two genuine gold bars which were subjected to test by a one Sayid Musanji, he was asked to deposit 83,000 US Dollars and then promised to return on the following Monday to pick the ready gold bar consignment,” police said in a statement. 

On failure to provide the investor with the agreed gold bars, he then sought for assistance from authorities and a theft report was filed against them alleging he was defrauded of 100,000 US Dollars (about Shs370m).

After searching at their premises, suspects were found in illegal possession of G4S Private security organization uniforms, 100 kilograms of suspected fake gold, weighing scales and gold testing machines.

Qatar Targets Energy, Mining Investment In Uganda

Qatar has expressed interest to invest in Uganda after a representative of rich Arab nation recently paid a courtesy visit to President Yoweri Museveni.

Sheikh Faisal bin Thani Al-Thani, Director of Regional Investment Funds at the Qatar Investment Authority, met President Museveni to explore investment opportunities in the sectors of infrastructure, energy, tourism, mining and food security in Africa.

Sheikh Faisal also conveyed warm greetings to President Museveni and the people of Uganda, from the Emir of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

“The Qatar Investment Authority has US$1 billion to invest in Africa and we are looking for areas to partner in,” he said.Qatar Investment Authority is a state-owned holding foreign wealth fund that specializes in domestic and foreign investment.

President Museveni praised Qatar’s interest to invest in Africa and Uganda as one of the countries to invest in. He said there are opportunities in the agro-processing business, mining, and hospitality, among others.

“We want vertical integration. We want to do processing here that is linked with our industries. For example, we want to mine copper to feed our transformer and military sectors. Minerals must be purified to the top level so that we use them for our industries and export the excess,” he stressed.

Uganda Earns $41.1m From Gold Exports

Uganda gold exports raked in $41.1 million in August, which was ranked higher in value terms than the country’s leading export commodity coffee at $35m in the same month, reports say.

The mining sector of the East African country has suffered setbacks, losing the grip of its previous glory but looks adamant to bounce back and be more productive in the coming years in the competitive regional and international markets. 

Gold’s performance was the highest volumes ever the country has managed, drawing attention to the economic performance of the sector, as revealed by statistics from Bank of Uganda. 

Uganda is not a key player in gold mining as it is inclined more to agriculture as the backbone of the economy as most African countries. 

“We are still studying how much gold we produce. But we believe the refinery at Entebbe is attracting a lot of gold from the region, and this is raising the statistics,” commented Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB)’s trade and information executive, Mr. John Lwere.

Gold exports amounted to $340 million in 2016, according to official figures, which recorded an increase from $237,000 in 2014. The opening of new mining sites should push up the export numbers to generate more foreign revenue for the government and create employment opportunities for thousands of Ugandans to eradicate poverty level and reduce dependency. 

During the last five years, the exports of Uganda have increased at an annualized rate of 3.4 percent, from $2.5 billion in 2011 to $2.85 billion in 2016. The most recent exports are led by gold which represents 24.8 percent of the total exports of Uganda, followed by coffee, which accounts for 13.7 percent, according to atlas media reports.

Uganda earned at least $300 million from gold between January and October in 2016, which was slightly lower than the earnings from coffee. It represented a leap of more than 740 percent if compared to what was earned the previous year (2015), where total gold exports were $35.7 million.

Uganda Mineral Sector Underexplored, UCMP Boss Tells Investors

Stakeholders, especially investors, attending the seventh mineral wealth conference organized by Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) at Kampala Serena Hotel have been told that Uganda as a s resource rich country has been under explored and should be in the next mining destination.  

The conference which concludes tomorrow is running under the theme: "Eastern Africa: The continent's next mining and Investment haven,". The conference also has an exhibition center with over 45 companies showcasing their products and services.

Richard Kaijuka, chairman UCMP Board of Trustees in his welcome remarks emphasized that Uganda is endowed enormously with a variety of minerals but have been under explored. Even with this under-exploration Kaijuka said Uganda has a number of exciting mining project on going.

Zacary Baguma, the acting director geological survey and mines (DGSM) at the ministry of energy and mineral development (MEMD), revealed that Uganda has metallic minerals, industrial minerals, gemstones and geothermal energy which were confirmed after the 2007 airbone geophysical survey.

The airbone geophysical survey only covered 80 percent of the country, the 20 percent being Karamoja region which was omitted due to insecurity in the region then.

Baguma said mineral production increased between 2012 and 2013 but a ban on exportation of metallic minerals by government saw that performance go down in 2014 and 2015. A lift on the same ban is now seeing the minerals production go up.

Robert Kasande, the permanent secretary ministry of MEMD said after the coming into play of the mining policy, government is working on concluded the review of the mining act. HE said this process is expected to be over before end of this year.

He said the law will will streamline the licensing of miners, organize artisanal miners, address issues of gender inequalities and child labour, health and safety issues and value addition. On value addition, Kasande said will ensure risk reduction for investors.

To fully increase exploration and utilization of the country’s minerals, government is working with European European to prioritize development minerals under the ACP-EU programme.

Thomas Ole-Kuyan, deputy country director (operations) said development minerals which are mainly used locally improve livelihoods for people involved, creates jobs and contributes to general development of a country.

He called on government to put in place the right policy and legislation to guarantee a condusive environment for mining sector to thrive. The ACP-EU supported the creation and passing of the mining policy, strengthens capacity for artisanal miners, promotes gender equality among others.

Seventh Mining Wealth Conference Kicks Off In Kampala

Local miners and investors and a recognizable number from Africa and the world are convening at Kampala Serena Hotel to discuss investment in the mining sector at the seventh mineral wealth conference organized by Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP).

The conference which concludes tomorrow is running under the theme: "Eastern Africa: The continent's next mining and Investment haven,". The conference also has an exhibition center with over 45 companies showcasing their products and services.

Richard Kaijuka, chairman UCMP Board of Trustees in his welcome remarks emphasized that Uganda is endowed enormously with a variety of minerals but have been under explored. Even with this under-exploration Kaijuka said Uganda has a number of exciting mining project on going.

Kaijuka, a former energy minister, however noted that Uganda is beginning to attract world class investors. He called on government even with their challenges to focus on the sector by doing the needful including putting in place testing laboratories within the country because currently they have to ship loads of soil samples to either Tanzania or Europe.

Robert Kasande, the permanent secretary ministry of energy and mineral development reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring sustainable development of the mining sector so that it can contribute to the GDP and national development plan.   

“Government accords high priority to development of the mining sector. We have recently put in place the new mining policy to develop the mining industry, stimulate the sector and attract investment and ensure local participation to enhance the economy.” Similarly, he mining law is being reviewed for amendment to improve the sector.

H.E Attillio Pacific, head delegation of the European Union to Uganda, called on miners to adhere to transparency tendencies when doing business in the sector. He called on investors to always put in mind the values of transparency when making key investments.

The conference has been supported an assortment of private sector players who are eyeing business deals in the mining industry.

Dangote Now Most Valuable Brand In Nigeria

Nigeria's Dangote has emerged the most valuable brand among the top 50 brands in Nigeria for 2018 which were unveiled at the weekend in Lagos.

This is coming barely three months after the brand was adjudged the most admired brand of African origin by Consumers in a brand rating coordinated by South Africa based Brand Leadership in conjunction with Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). 

Brand Nigeria, the agency that coordinated the survey in Nigeria, in its report lauded the efforts of the handlers of the Dangote Brand because this is the first time a Nigerian brand would be achieving the feat since 2013. 

Unveiling the list of the top 50 brands at an event attended by top executives of leading corporate organizations in the country as well as stakeholders in Marketing and Advertising Industry, Mr. Taiwo Oluboyede, the Head of Brand Nigeria explained that 46 percent of the top brands amounting to 23 are Nigerian brands. 

Giving the highlights of the brands rating, he stated that Promasidor Nigeria Limited emerged the highest gainer jumping 15 points from last year, the followed by the trio of BUA, Nine Mobile and Olam all of which moved 12 points from last year position, while seven brands, Conoil, Channels TV, Union Bank, Access Bank, Chi, Toyota, and GTBank maintained their positions. 

He stated further that Fidelity bank came as a first entrant this year and Stallion Group making a fresh return to the top 50 brands this having exited before. 

The top 50 brands in Nigeria, Soboyede maintained are the brands that have succeeded in delivering their promises to the consumers. "They are fast growing in value and they are the drivers of our economy,"

"The top brands this year are those that have been able to analyse needs, see opportunities by creating solutions to them and communicating same to the consumers.

"They have also become so good at it that the consumers often refer to them with the name of the need they meet that is their products or services. These brands have found how to deliver something special often times." 

Giving insights into how the evaluation of the top 50 brands was carried out, Soboyede said: "we used the Brand Strength Model (BSM index),"

"It is model that measures a brand's ability to deliver on its promise to the consumers from the consumer's point of view. The model uses basic qualitative elements and there are seven variables that goes into the BSM model". 

According to the variables starts with a test of people's knowledge and affinity with the brands operational in Nigeria. We had a top on the mind survey where people tell us brads that easily come to their mind or brand they can recall. 

"Other variables in the model are innovation-this is a test how innovative a brand service delivery is; Quality-this checks some factors that enhance consumer's confidence in product delivery; Category Leadership-this is a classification of brands within their industry; Online engagements-this checks how active the brand's online platforms are and how engaging it has been from last evaluation; National Spread-this checks operational presence of a brand across the country."         

Chief Corporate Communication Officer of the Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said the management was not surprised at the ranking because the company has continuously deepened and delivered on its core values is to be a world-class enterprise that is passionate about the quality of life of the people and giving high returns to stakeholders. 

"And this philosophy is driven by values, which include customer service, entrepreneurship, excellence and leadership. In any of our subsidiaries, the focus is to provide local, value-added products and services that meet the 'basic needs' of the populace.

"Through the construction and operation of large scale manufacturing facilities in Nigeria and across Africa, the Group is focused on building local manufacturing capacity to generate employment, prevent capital flight and provide locally produced goods for the people.

"The expansion of our business especially the Cement which has operations in 14 African countries including Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Zambia, among others has added to popularity of our company and the products, Mr. Chiejina stated.

It would be recalled that back in July, the Dangote brand came atop in the ranking of 100 best brands in Africa themed "Brand Africa:100", the sixth edition announced in Johannesburg, South Africa. 

The Brand leadership in the ranking list said of Dangote brand "Nigerian industrial brand Dangote is the number one African brand recalled when consumers are prompted about the continent (Africa) of origin while the South African tele-communications brand MTN is the number one African brand spontaneously recalled irrespective of continent of origin. 

The United States sports and fitness brand, Nike, is the overall brand in Africa spontaneously recalled by consumers. 

The Brand Africa 100 ranking is based on a survey among consumers 18 years and older, conducted in 23 countries across Africa. The countries, representing all African economic regions, collectively account for 75% of the population and the 74% of the GDP of Africa. 

African brands rose slightly to account for 17% of the Top 100 brands in Africa, non-African brands retained their firm position in Africa with 83% share of the Top 100 most admired brands in Africa. Brands from Europe leads the table with 40%, North America at 24% and Asia 19%.  West Africa 6% with only Nigerian brands and Southern Africa 6%. 

The Top 100 is dominated by technology and electronic brands (29%), consumer (non-cyclical) (19%), apparel (15%), automobile (8%), food (7%) and sports & fitness (5%) categories are the top categories.

Filipino Miner Kills Colleague Over Egg

Two Philippines working at a stone quarrying site in Kabaale parish, Busereuka Sub County, Hoima district, Monday night got a misunderstanding over an egg resulting into death.

Zong Gau, 50, stabbed his colleague Zhanga Zhenlun to death, police told this website. The two are employees of WUSZ Holding Uganda Limited operating in Kabaale parish.

The police say that the deceased, Zhenlun, ate an egg which belonged to Zong, the suspect. This did not go well with Zong who picked up a knife and stabbed his colleague leaving him in critical condition.
After realizing that his colleague was in critical condition, Zong rushed Zhenlun to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
Officials at WUSZ Holding tipped police about the incident. Police rushed to the hospital and picked up Zong as he tried to flee.
By press time, Thursday, the body of the deceased was still lying at Hoima morgue but preparations were underway to transport it to Kampala for further examination.

 

Gécamines, Katanga Group Enter Settlement Agreement

Gécamines, together with its subsidiary Société Immobilière Du Congo ("SIMCO"), entered into a settlement agreement with Katanga Mining Limited and some of its affiliated companies making up the Katanga Group as well as their joint company Kamoto Copper Company (KCC).

Under the terms of the Agreement, the following goals and results are targeted, among others:

  • KCC's net equity will be restored in accordance with applicable laws ;
  • KCC's indebtedness towards the GLENCORE group will be reduced from 9 billion USD down to 3.45 billion USD as at 1 January 2018;
  • Interest rates applicable on intra-group loans are revised and shall no longer exceed 6% per year;
  • On the basis of KCC's current business plan, as early as the 2019 fiscal year, GÉCAMINES will start, for the first time, receiving dividends, which assessed cumulated amount should exceed 2 billion USD over the next ten years;
  • The profits will allow for the payment of corporate taxes being likely to significantly contribute to the replenishment the Congolese State's treasury;
  • A better valuation, in the future, of GÉCAMINES' contribution of the copper and cobalt deposits to the partnership through a significant increase of the amount per ton of the pas de porte, from 35 USD to 110 USD, and which can reach 170 USD in certain scenarios;
  • A significant increase of the valuation of GÉCAMINES' ownership in KCC, which value was until then nil due to the high level of indebtedness of the company;
  • The waiver by KCC to the benefit of the JORC certified reserves amounting to 3,992,185 tCu and 205,629 tCo (the "Reserves"), releasing GÉCAMINES from its obligation to deliver the Reserves or, failing that, to pay a counter-value of a maximum amount of 285 million USD;
  • The payment by the KATANGA GROUP of a settlement indemnity (150 million USD) in favor GÉCAMINES; and
  • The withdrawal by GÉCAMINES and SIMCO, at closing, from the judicial proceeding initiated before the Commercial Court of Kolwezi on 20 April 2018.

Gécamines welcomes the outcome of the discussions with the Katanga Group and its majority shareholder Glencore Plc, and the new foundations now set for the partnership, with a view to an effective sharing of wealth, with immediate financial benefits for all the stakeholders, and in particular the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the affected communities. GÉCAMINES hopes that upcoming negotiations with other partners and companies will be conducted in a similar open and respectful climate, and will reach the same satisfactory outcome.

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