Museveni commissions Shs50b marble factory

Saturday March 28 2020

Inspection. President Museveni tours a marble

Inspection. President Museveni tours a marble factory in Rupa Sub-county, Moroto District on Thursday. PHOTO BY EDGAR R. BATTE. 

By EDGAR R. BATTE

President Museveni has commissioned a marble mining factory at Nanyidik Village in Rupa sub-county, Moroto District.
Officiating at the opening Sunbelt Mining Group Limited company on Thursday, the President said marble is a good construction material and that he is ready to market the products in the region.
“I have seen the marble tiles and they are of good quality. There is potential market, Ugandans don’t know about them. It is wonderful marble, especially for the floor tiles,” he said.
He added that ceramic tiles made in Kapeeka Industrial Park in Nakaseke District are being sold in Uganda, Burundi and DR Congo.
The President revealed that before Kapeeka park was established, the country was spending more than $30m (Shs116b) on importing ceramic tiles from China.
He, however, advised the residents of Karamoja sub-region to cooperate with the investors, saying that a lot of time and development opportunities had been lost because of insecurity.
Sunbelt Mining Group has invested more than $13 million (Shs50b) in the project, which is one of the five factories to be constructed in Matheniko County.
The proprietor of Sunbelt Mining Group, Mr Sun Zhan Zhong, said the factory will provide employment opportunities to Ugandans.
“We aim to employ 120 with a 30 per cent of community members in the mine and factory. Besides construction of the marble factory, all roads around the mining area are being worked on. We plan to put up piped water, boreholes, health facilities,” Mr Zhong said.
He noted that power still remains a challenge as the factory depends on three industrial generators to run 30 auto mobile machinery.
He also decried limited markets for their products.
In response, the President said government will support the company by buying marble tiles. “We are going to build a new government campus in Bwebajja, between Kampala and Entebbe. I am going to direct that the constructors buy marble tiles from here,” he said.
The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ms Mary Goretti Kitutu, said the company that has been operational for the last 10 months, is expected to make gross revenue of $30m (about Shs116m) per year.
Ms Kitutu revealed that Karamoja Sub-region has 562 million tonnes of marble reserves.
“The expected benefits of the project are employment opportunities, skills development, and establishment of small and medium enterprises increased trade, among others,” she said.
She added: “The government will benefit from revenues through taxes and development of shared social infrastructure and other amenities.

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