Rugunda Roots for Extensive Mineral Extraction

PM Rugunda (middle with yellow tie) in a group photo with the Uganda Chamber of Mines Board members and the Chinese investors.(Photo by PMPU)

By Michael Mugerwa

The Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has called for optimal exploration and exploitation of minerals by both local and international investors, discount as part of an effort to create jobs in Uganda.

He particularly asked the Uganda Chamber of Mines to support government in attracting potential and serious international investments in the mining and petroleum sector.

The Prime Minister was meeting the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum board members.

The function which took place at the office of the Prime Minister on Friday was attended by Shandong Provincial Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources delegation from China.

Shandong Provincial Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources signed a cooperation framework agreement with the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum.

This followed the state visit of President Museveni to China in 2015, recipe where the two governments exchanged bilateral agreements which included the mining sector.

Uganda is endowed with vast and diverse metallic and industrial minerals with commercial potential that include Gold, Copper, Iron, Manganese, Tin, Wolfram, Beryl, Bismuth, Colombite Tantalite, Chromites, Diamonds, Limestone, Cobalt, Vermiculite, Phosphates, Asbestos, Clay, Diatomite, Feldspars, Granite Gneiss, Graphite, Gypsum, Kaolin, Kyanite, Marble, Mica, Rock Salt, Silica Sand, and Talc.

Only a few of these have been exploited commercially and at artisan levels.

In the past, Copper, Limestone, Tin, Wolfram and Iron Ore were export commodities for the country, but their production and sales declined as prices plummeted on the international market in the 1980s.

The Prime Minister appreciated the quick response by the Shandong Provincial Bureau of Geology group, to follow up on the bilateral agreements that were signed to foster development in Uganda.

“At long last we have a serious group that will help Uganda to efficiently explore and exploit its mineral resources,” the Premier observed.

He added, “We have unemployment and therefore this mineral exploration and exploitation, was medicine to cure lack of jobs and consequently eradicate poverty.”

Although Gold prices did not drop significantly, exploitation in Uganda has remained artisan in nature.

According to Mr Henry Mugisha Bazira, Executive Director, Water Governance Institute (WGI) and founding chairperson of the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas (CSCO) in Uganda, prices have since rebounded resuming the international interest and increasing Uganda’s market share of the minerals.

“The increase in mineral prices has also attracted other Ugandan minerals onto the international market, including Cobalt and rare earth minerals,” he told Chimpreports recently.

In response, government conducted aerial magnetic and other studies to determine the mineral deposits, map-out and license the exploration/exploitation blocks.

While a number of mineral licenses have been issued out to the private sector and the exploration and exploitation processes are at different stages of development, little is known about the effects/impacts that the sector is imparting on society, the economy, the environment and politics in general.


The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda His Excellence Zhao Yali noted that Uganda lacked adequate technology to explore and exploit minerals.

He said the Chinese investors will bring in modern mineral exploration and exploitation equipment and will also encourage joint ventures with local counterparts.

“My presence here today was to show support and assurances to the people of Uganda about Chinese investments in Uganda,” he said.

Earlier, the Prime Minister was taken through the profile for the Shandong Provincial Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources Company.


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