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.