Lake Albert Gas To Facilitate Iron Ore Processing In Kigezi

 

The great Kigezi region in western Uganda will get a big iron ore smelting plant, president Yoweri Museveni told a political rally in Nfasha village, Kacherere Parish, West Rubanda constituency, Kabale district. 

Museveni who is seeking re-election as president of Uganda said the region is rich in mineral resources that can be exploited to transform and enrich the country. “Rubanda is rich in iron ore resources. The NRM Government wants to build a big iron ore smelting plant. 

The gas from Lake Albert will be delivered to Butogota and the neighbouring areas to facilitate the processing of iron ore,” he said, adding that the target was to produce and process one million tons of iron per day. 

The president revealed that the resources available were sufficient to cover a period of 45 to 50 years. The country, according to Museveni, would benefit a lot because the processed iron today fetches US $ 550 per ton. 

However, his competitor and former close ally, former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi during a presidential campaign rally in Kabale district faulted his former boss for failing to make deliberate efforts to process the iron ore. 

Aerial geological surveys conducted by the Geological Surveys and Mines Directorate GSMD in Kigezi sub-region show that there are 200 million metric tons of iron ore deposits are in the region. This means Uganda can potentially get US$ 110 trillion. 

"Currently, we have over 200 million tonnes reserves of hematite iron ore in southwestern Uganda and 60 million tonnes of magnetite iron ore in the south eastern part of the country and still have huge potential for exploration,"  Francis Natukunda, a senior geologist at Uganda's Department of Geological Survey and Mines, is quoted by New Vision saying.

According to Natukunda, if the iron ore is extracted, it would not be exported, but rather used domestically to fuel demand for steel in the construction industry. Uganda banned iron ore exports in 2012. 

“Uganda’s geographical position gives it access to over 500 million people, including COMESA and SADC and the recent population surge in the countries forming these regional blocks will trigger demand for construction materials from our industries,” state minister for investment, Gabriel Ajedra Aridru told a sector conference in Kampala last year. 

Iron Ore is a key raw material in making steel. Local steel makers like Roofings have shown interest in making significant investment into exploration, mining and processing of iron ore to add values and eventual exportation.

Museveni said his Government would extend electricity from the Muko junction off the Kabale – Kisoro road to benefit a number of places in the area including Muko, Nfasha, Rubanda Mission, Ikumba Health Centre,nBugyera, Ruhuriza and Kiyabe.

 

 

New Mining Set For December Parliament Debate

A new mining law to be debated by parliament starting December promises to improve the environment for investment and generally enhance Uganda’s mining sector.

“We hope to have a new law for debate in Parliament by December,” Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for mineral development told the annual general meeting of the Uganda Chamber of Minerals and Petroleum (UCMP), an outfit that brings together players in the petroleum and mining sectors last week.

Hon. Lokeris said the new law is part of an ongoing review of Uganda’s fiscal and regulatory framework intended to “reshape the future” of the country’s mining sector.

Government has been reviewing the Mining Act, 2003 and Mining Regulations, 2004 to align them with the revised Mineral Policy

The reviewed framework aims to address several issues that have haunted the sector including; conflicts over competing land uses, the rise of unregulated artisanal and small scale mining activities and the inadequate enforcement of health and safety provisions.

The new framework also aims to increase productivity and the creation of new mines by establishing financing mechanisms for artisanal, small scale and large scale mining. It is hoped that the new policy will further improve mineral revenue collection and management and usher in a transparent competitive bidding system.

UCMP’s Chairman, Elly Karuhanga, welcomed the review as part of the continuous efforts by government to create a favourable environment for investment in extractives.

“The review of the laws and regulations for the mining sector, removal of taxes on exploration for oil, gas and mining investments and the continued energy and infrastructure development efforts are all the much needed interventions to address the bottlenecks in our sector,” Karuhanga told the meeting.

Karuhanga also hailed government for heeding calls by UCMP to reconsider the ban on mineral exports, which he said had affected the sector. President Yoweri Museveni lifted the ban in August this year.

SOURCE: Oil In Uganda

Mining Policy, Law And Taxation Review Progressing Well

The Ministry of energy and Mineral Development (MEMD) is in the process of reviewing the mining legislation. Consultative meetings to review the Mineral Policy, Law and taxation are being held to collect ideas and other necessary input.  

 

With technical Assistance and support of the World Bank, the Ministry has compiled the views of selected Ministries and Government agencies and those of the Industry, Civil Society and other Stakeholders in form of a Green Paper for the Minerals and Mining Policy for Uganda.

It summarizes the problem, issues and needs of stakeholders. The revised document will then be put on the MEMD website for public comments. The Ministry is now preparing a Cabinet Memorandum to submit the Policy revision proposal and policy principles to cabinet to take a decision for approval.

 

 Mining in Uganda

Uganda lies within the African plate, which is a continental crust that contains Archaean cratons that date at least 2700 Ma. The country’s geology is endowed with a wide variety of minerals.

Mining involves extracting and processing economically valuable minerals. Many minerals are mined in Uganda, including gold, tin, gemstones, limestone, clay, salt and stone aggregate.

However most bits of mining are carried out by artisanal miners who are not well equipped. There is no commonly accepted definition of artisanal and small scale mining (ASM), because it can have very different characteristics at every site!

The country's mining history is recorded in the 1920s with work done at southwest Uganda's tin and tungsten deposits. In the following decade, gold mining began near Busia.

In the 1950s, the Kilembe copper mine was developed and it became the country's largest mine. The 1950s and 1960s was an important phase for mining when it had a 30 percent contribution to the total exports of the nation.

During the late 1980s, laying of roads led to increase in demand for construction material. The National Mining Commission was formed in 1988. North Korea financed the Ugandan government's project to rehabilitate the Kilembe copper mine.

Mineral Wealth Conference To Address Value Addition In sector

Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) will this week on Thursday at Sheraton Hotel Kampala kick off a two day Mineral Wealth Conference where issues of value addition are high on the meeting’s agenda.

 

About 400 delegates from different parts of the world will be in Kampala to attend the fourth annual Mineral Wealth Conference (MWC), come October 1st and 2nd, 2015 in Kampala. They will be looking at how they can invest in Uganda’s mining sector.

The theme of the conference is “Minerals Value Addition – Road to Development”, a subject which Richard Kaijuka, the UCMP Vice Chairman, said ‘calls for focus, determination and hard work” and that it ‘it will not happen overnight’.

Uganda enjoys a wealth of minerals ranging from gold, copper, iron ore, vermiculite, tin, tantalite, tungsten, nickel, platinum, phosphate and others which are yet to be fully exploited to their full potential. The conference is one of the efforts in the direction of full utilization of the natural resources.

 

Kaijuka speaking at a press conference said Uganda is confident to add value because it has been done before elsewhere even if the road is long. To establish a large scale mine by world standards, at least $5m to $100m is needed in the exploration process – from discovery to proving feasibility.

 

However, due to a fall in metal prices and a global economic downturn, exploration expenditure has plummeted by at least 30% worldwide with an additional 15% to 20% decline in exploration investment in Africa predicted in 2015 and beyond.

 An estimated 90% of junior exploration companies that existed in 2010 are no more; hence there exists a very strong competition for this highly risky capital globally.

 

Fortunately for miners eyeing Uganda, value added tax on exploration activities was scrapped this year after endless lobbying by the UCMP.  A ban on mineral exports was also lifted recently by President Yoweri Museveni, further encouraging more investments in the sector.

 

“These developments have been very exciting for not only members of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum but also for the country at large,” said Kaijuka, adding “We are particularly encouraged by the government’s review of the laws and regulations governing mining that has made the legal regime truly user friendly for investors.”

 

Dr. Zwelini Mkhize, the Treasurer General of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, and also a former premier of KwaZulu-Natal, will deliver the Keynote Presentation at the MWC2015.

 

The conference is organized by UCMP in collaboration with Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Africa Mining Network, Win Win 4 Africa Consultancy & African Legal Support Facility.

The two day conference is sponsored by partners such as Zakhem International Construction, the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), Stanbic Bank, Hima Cement, Barclays Bank, AON Uganda, ENS Africa, Standard Chartered Bank, Swala Energy, Tororo Cement, United Bank for Africa (UBA), UAP Insurance, Threeways Shipping and Askar Investments.

 

The annual MWC is fast becoming East Africa’s flagship mining convention; playing a significant role in highlighting the huge untapped potential of Uganda’s and the region’s fledging mining industries.

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