Uganda is set to reduce value of imported iron and steel from USD 360 million to USD 96M by 2025 in concerted effort to add value to the country vast mineral resources , Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development , Permanent Secretary Eng. Irene Bateebe ,has said .
While addressing the 10th Mineral wealth Conference 2021 , the new Energy chief technical officer said that her ministry was also working to increase the volume and value of refined gold exports from USD 450 million to USD 787 million; increase volume of copper produced from 0 to 2,000 metric tonnes and ultimately increase value of investment into the exploration and processing from USD 0.8 billion to USD 2 billion in the next four years .
In her presentation titled “ Uganda’s mineral Sector at A Glance” Eng. Bateebe sa id that apart from increasing jobs with in the sector by at least 10% annually, government was set to revamp Kilembe Copper-Cobalt and Kirwa Wolfram Mines – for value addition and export promotion.; Uganda is richly endowed with mineral resources such as gold, and iron ore.
“ Government plans to develop these resources in partnership with the private sector in a sustainable manner,” She stated and hastened to add that the private sector players will be facilitated with the necessary assistance in terms of mineral information, licensing and infrastructure for mining.
The PS told the conference that a detailed evaluation of mineral commodities into bankable feasibility studies was on course .
Eng.Bateebe also highlighted some of the challenges being faced in the sector which include , the rudimentary mining methods and informality of the mining sub- sector; inadequate human and institutional capacity and inadequate physical and R&D infrastructure.
There is still limited investment in industries that utilise available minerals and yet Uganda has good potential for economic mineral and geothermal resources.
The Ministry of Energy has already set up an Online e-government mineral licensing system. According to Eng. Bateebe , the licensing system has been upgraded to allow online applications and processing of all mineral rights through an e-Government portal.
“This will ensure transparency in licensing of Mineral Rights and the E-Government portal can be accessed at:http://portals.flexicadastre.com/uganda/,” She added.
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