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Uganda mining back in business

Kampala – capital of
Uganda, where mining
is re-emerging as
an economic force
Kampala, Uganda — MININGREVIEW.COM – 15 October 2008 – After years of neglect, Uganda’s mining industry is reported to be back on its feet following the discovery and expected exploration of mineral deposits located in various parts of the country.

Reporting from the Ugandan capital, allAfrica.com quotes The Monitor as revealing that earnings from mineral resources in the country in the next five years are projected to generate US$350 million R3.2 billion) per annum, compared to the current US$22 million (R200 million).

Once a major producer of copper from Kilembe mines, Uganda’s mineral sector has remained largely dormant, save for a few pockets of gold, cobalt and wolfram, tantalite, vermiculite, and limestone. Then last year, the government sanctioned a major survey around the country to establish new mineral sites and develop the sites into mines that could economically benefit the country.

Ministry of energy and mineral development permanent secretary Fred Kabagambe-Kalisa said the government had committed US$43 million (R390 million) to carry out a five-year sustainable management of mineral resources project.

“The country has a lot of mineral deposits and chances are very high,” he said, “but the easily discovered mineral deposits have largely been discovered already, leaving only those that are hidden under the surface.”

Kalisa revealed that the funding would come from the World Bank – US$25 million – R225 million), the African Development Bank – US$7.7 million (R70 million) and the Nordic Development Fund US – $7.7 million (R70 million). The government would contribute US$3million (R27 million) to identifying new areas of high mineral resource potential.

Exploration investment in the country is expected to increase from the current US$3 million (R27 million) to over US$50 million R450 million) annually as a result of the new survey. It is expected that there will an increase of fiscal revenues from US$1 million (R9 million) to US$35 million (R320 million) over the next five years.