Uganda yet to explore mineral potential – players
Posted Thursday, September 26 2013 at 01:00
Kampala- The government has been urged to engage investors in the mineral sector in order to uplift the country’s mining potential.
Uganda has a number of minerals, however; little has been done to fully exploit the country’s potential.
Speaking at a media briefing to announce the upcoming Mineral Wealth Conference scheduled for between October 1 and 2, in Kampala, Mr Elly Karuhanga, the chairman Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, said Uganda needs to promote the available investment opportunities in the mining and petroleum sectors.
This, he said, would attract local and foreign investors in the sector.
The conference, which is expected to run under the theme: ‘Investing in Uganda’s Flourishing Mining Industry’, will relay available mining opportunities in Uganda, identify gaps and devise means of narrowing such gaps.
Mr Edwards Kato, the acting commissioner department of geological surveys and mines, said the government had recently carried out a survey upon which it had formed a basis to refocus to the mining sector as a major source of revenue.
He said: “We [government] are equipped with up- to-date information about Uganda’s mineral deposits and we are optimistic that the conference will showcase our potential to probable investors.
Uganda’s mining sector has been boosted with the recent discovery of oil deposits in western and North West parts of Uganda including Hoima among other areas.
The government also focused on reviving the Kilembe Copper Mines in Kasese, after it recently handed a Chinese firm with a 25 year concession.
Mr Richard Kaijuka, the chamber’s vice chairman noted that key areas of focus will include telling Uganda’s success story and brainstorming on dealing with the challenges of the industry such as land ownership conflicts, poor infrastructure, electricity supply and costs plus the absence of modern mineral laboratories.