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.

Siemens, Anglo American Platinum Collaborate On Skills Development In Africa

Currently, one of the most debated topics influencing innovation is digitalization and its impact on the future of employment. It is met with equal parts excitement and trepidation. No matter how you look at it, digital transformation and a truly connected global economy is already upon us.

Siemens (www.Siemens.com) has provided automation equipment and industrial networks to assist Anglo's Engineering Skills Training Centre (ESTC). One of the pillars of Digitalization is industrial networks and security and it is crucial that these engineers understand the role of this technology in the future of mining.

As a leader in automation we are continuously expanding our leadership role in Industrial Digitalization. There is an opportunity, especially in Africa to embrace new and exponential technologies combined with human talent to accelerate industrialization and drive economic growth.

"We are proud to be supporting Anglo American Platinum to advance skills and opportunities in Africa," explains Sabine Dall'Omo, CEO for Siemens Southern and Eastern Africa.

Gary Humphries, Anglo American Platinum's Executive Head for Processing was appreciative of Siemens completion of yet another skills project at the ESTC. In his address, Gary said Siemens and Anglo American Platinum have been in partnership since 2010 and have seen approximately 298 artisans successfully trained and qualified at this centre.

“This vital contribution by Siemens to ESTC will significantly contribute towards the development of the human resource capabilities of our artisans and will help broaden the thinking of the students to explore new career capabilities. We celebrate the handover of the Siemens Simatic Wall and look forward to the role it will play in training the current and next generation of skilled artisans."

We are ramping up our commitment to the region to meet our customer's needs, expanding our portfolio for digital enterprises, supporting our customers in the manufacturing and process industries with digitalization, customization and efficiency improvements and investing in equipping our future generation with the right skills," ends Sabine.

Opportunities As M2Cobalt Launches Exploration Activities In Kasese

Political and community leadership in Kasese and Bunyangabu districts, in western Uganda, are looking at economic opportunities being created after Canadian firm M2Cobalt started minerals exploration activities in the two districts.

M2Cobalt, on Thursday, 29th March, 2018, launched the helicopter airborne geophysical surveys at Kasese airstrip to commence the exploration activities expected to run until June. Exploration is eying discovery of copper, cobalt, nickel and association minerals.

The Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Bunyangabu district speaking during the launch of the surveys said both districts will be in a position to raise local revenue a position he shares with Bakar Sadiq, the Resident District Commissioner for Bunyangabu district.

Sadiq said exploration and eventual extraction of such minerals in the area will trigger economic development for the residents in the districts. “We need to explore these minerals to reach Vision 2040. We can get electricity, foreign investment and employment because of these minerals.”

In the same spirit and manner, Agnes Alaba, Commissioner Mines Department in the energy ministry emphasized that the mineral sector in Uganda can become the engine for development. She represented the ministry’s permanent secretary.

Zachary Baguma, a director at the energy ministry explained that the investors are not in the districts to survey people’s land. He then asked local leaders to convey the right message to the people so that they can support M2Cobalt in their pursuit of the minerals buried underground.

Andy Edelmeier, the CFO and director of M2Cobalt said a team of 20 Canadian and Ugandan geologists and support staff are camping in the two districts. They will be looking at rocks and soils to make new geologic maps. They will be taking samples for further analysis.

The directorate of geology survey and mines (DGSM) in ministry of energy and mineral development (MEMD) granted exploration licenses EL1673 and EL 1674 to the Canadian mining company through their Ugandan subsidiaries and partners.

Information acquired from the surveys boosts the ministry and investors understanding of what they will get and its composition, Fred Tugume, a director at DGSM, explained why it is important for such a survey to be undertaken. M2Cobalt is spending $5m to see this through.

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