Elly Karuhanga, the President of Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, said mineral resources are available countrywide, but they have not been fully exploited.
DEVELOPMENT | MINERALS
Uganda is endowed with many mineral resources, but she is not earning significantly from them, according to Elly Karuhanga, the President of Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.
Karuhanga explained that these mineral resources are available countrywide, but they have not been fully exploited, mainly because countrywide extensive exploration has not been done.
He said these minerals include gold, vermiculite, copper, graphite, iron ore, tin, tantalite, tungsten, nickel, platinum, graphite, limestone, phosphates and clays with rare earth elements, among others.
He noted that some of these resources, like the vermiculite in Eastern Uganda, which competes favourably with South Africa's in both quality and quantity, are world class deposits.
“We feel the time is now for Uganda to start earning significant revenues from its natural resources,” Karuhanga said in Kampala.
He said they hope to discuss why Uganda is not yet earning from its minerals when UCMP hosts the sixth annual mineral wealth conference and exhibition between October 4 and 5 2017. It will take place at the Kampala Serena Hotel.
Organised in partnership with the ministry of energy and mineral development, the conference will be held under the theme: ‘Minerals – Knocking on the Door to Cause Economic Transformation in Uganda’.
PIC: (L-R) Merian Sebunya, board member Private Sector Foundation; Ivy Nakalyango, the CEO Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP); Elly Karuhanga, the President of UCMP; Jennifer Mwijukye, the managing director of Unifreight Cargo Handling Limited; and Dorothy Byenkya, marketing manager of Kampala Executive Aviation
“In previous forums, our focus was mainly on showcasing Uganda’s mineral potential, advocating for value addition and attracting exploration investment. This was all geared towards creating a conducive and favourable environment in the mining sector,” Karuhanga said.
A 2015 Uganda Bureau of Statistics report recorded a 6.3 % increase in the total value of selected minerals produced in Uganda, growing from sh158 b in 2013 to sh168 b in 2014. The statement notes that these numbers are significantly low.
Karuhanga said with the right support, Uganda can easily become the world's leading vermiculite producer within the next five to 10 years.
With the mining policy and laws undergoing a review to match the private sector needs, stakeholders in the mining industry are optimistic that this potential will soon be realised. The conference is expected to play a significant role in highlighting the untapped mining potential in Uganda.
The conference will attract over 450 delegates from across the globe. It will have participants from institutions such as the African Minerals Development Centre, World Bank and the African Development Bank, amongst others.