Uganda Government Launches National Mining Company to Secure Equity Stakes

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The Ugandan government has started the formation of a national mining firm, which will secure equity stakes of up to 15% in all medium and large-scale mining activities in the country, according to the Minister of Energy and Minerals.

Uganda has sizeable deposits of minerals such as gold, cobalt, copper, iron ore, rare earths, vermiculite, and phosphates, according to Ugandan geologists. The country is also planning to begin pumping crude oil from fields in its west by 2025.

The creation of a state-owned mining company, in addition to commercial state involvement in the sector, is among the many reforms listed in a new mining law passed last year. The Uganda National Mining Company (UNMC) will be the new firm, as stated by Minister Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu.

Ssentamu stated that “State equity participation will be in medium and large-scale mining of up to 15% participatory equity interest at no cost to the government.” The new state-owned firm will aid in the extraction of the most value from minerals, according to Ssentamu. She did not specify a date when the government will finish creating the company.

According to Ssentamu, all mining licenses will be granted via competitive bidding rather than the prior ‘first come, first served’ criterion. Applications will be filed online, enhancing efficiency and transparency.

Uganda reported last year that aerial exploration, followed by geophysical and geochemical surveys and analyses, revealed that the country had about 31 million tonnes of gold ore, from which an estimated 320,158 tonnes of refined gold could be obtained.

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Joseph Omoniyi

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