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Uganda Chamber of Mines hosts conference

Uganda Chamber of Mines hosts conference

PIC:  Elly Karuhanga, Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) chairman. Photo/Ramadhan Abbey

The Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) will tomorrow host the 5th annual Mineral Wealth Conference (MWC).

Organised in partnership with the African Union Commission, the Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this year’s conference theme is “Attracting exploration investment to Uganda’s mineral sector to realise its full potential”.

The two day conference and exhibition will be held at the Kampala Serena Hotel.

“President Yoweri Museveni is expected to attend this year’s conference as he has done several times in the past. We intend to use this opportunity to share our concerns with him and we hope we will be listened to,” noted Elly Karuhanga, the UCMP chairman at a press conference yesterday.

Karuhanga said Uganda enjoys a wealth of minerals ranging from gold, copper, iron ore, vermiculite, tin, tantalite, tungsten, nickel, platinum and phosphate, just to mention a few.

“Fully exploiting these minerals remains a work in progress as extensive exploration has not been done. And due to a fall in metal prices and a global economic downturn, exploration expenditure has plummeted by at least 30% worldwide with an additional 15% to 20% decline in Africa,” Karuhanga said.

Richard Kaijuka, the Vice President of the UCMP said in order to attract responsible investments, it is important that Uganda is knowledgeable of its mineral wealth.

Kaijuka said this can be achieved through a comprehensive country exploration programme that involves both the private and public sector investments.

He said the UCMP will launch the Uganda Mineral Exploration Initiative (UMEXI), a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that will drive this minerals’ exploration campaign in Uganda.

Kaijuka noted that UMEXI will be steered by the UCMP, with support from the African Union Commission. “It will be based on critical success experiences of countries such as Brazil and Australia,” he added.

Vincent Kedi, a senior mining engineer, with the Ministry of Energy and Minerals Development hailed the UCMP for attracting the world’s attention to Uganda’s mining industry.

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