Fifth Mineral Wealth Conference Targets Exploration Funding

Elly Karuhanga the chairman Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) presenting at a previous mining conference Elly Karuhanga the chairman Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) presenting at a previous mining conference

The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) host the 5th annual Mineral Wealth Conference (MWC) at the Kampala Serena Hotel, come October 5 and 6, 2016.

Organized in partnership with the African Union Commission (AUC), the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this year’s conference theme is “Attracting Exploration Investment to Uganda’s Mineral Sector to realize its Full Potential”.

The conference will attract expert speakers and delegates from across the globe including but not limited to Brazil, Australia, Belgium, West Africa, South Africa, the World Bank, African Mineral Development Centre, African Development Bank and the USA.

At the same event, the UNDP will coordinate and facilitate a mineral showcase on development minerals through their ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme. The three-year, €13.1 million capacity building program aims to build the profile, and improve the management, of Neglected Development Minerals (industrial minerals; construction materials; dimension stones; and semi-precious stones). It’s an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, financed by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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.

“President Yoweri Museveni will attend this year’s MWC as he has done several times in the past. We intend to use this opportunity to share our concerns with him and we hope we will be listened to,” noted Elly Karuhanga, the UCMP, Chairman at a press conference, held at the Serena Hotel today.

Uganda enjoys a wealth of minerals ranging from gold, copper, iron ore, vermiculite, tin, tantalite, tungsten, nickel, platinum and phosphate, just to mention a few. However, fully exploiting these minerals remains a work in progress as extensive exploration has not been done. And 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 Africa.

"In order to attract responsible investments, it is important that a country is knowledgeable of its mineral wealth. This can be achieved through a comprehensive country exploration programme that involves both the private and public sector investments," said Richard Kaijuka, the Vice President of the UCMP.

As such, the UCMP will launch the Uganda Mineral Exploration Initiative (UMEXI), a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that will drive this minerals’ exploration campaign in Uganda. Kaijuka notes that UMEXI will be steered by the UCMP, with support from the African Union Commission. "It will be based on critical success experiences of countries such as Brazil and Australia," he added.

Vincent Kedi, a senior mining engineer, with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Development hailed the UCMP for attracting the world’s attention to Uganda’s mining industry, and noted that the mining policy and later the laws were undergoing a review to match the private sector needs.

The conference sponsors include African Union Commission, African Gold Refinery, Barclays Bank, Hima Cement, Stanbic Bank, UNDP, AON Risk Solutions, Democratic Governance Facility, Tororo Cement, Lion Assurance, PWC, Ssaka Transporters, Deloitte, African Trade Insurance Agency, Ernst & Young, Enviroserv and Frontier Resource Group.

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