Uganda says it has 31 million tons of gold reserves

Uganda said on Wednesday that recent exploration surveys showed it had gold ore deposits of around 31 million tons and that it wanted to attract big investors to develop the sector hitherto dominated by small onshore miners, the international agency told Reuters.

Solomon Mweta, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, told Reuters, “In the past two years, atmospheric explorations have been conducted across the country, followed by geophysical and geochemical surveys and analyses. About 320,158 tons of refined gold can be extracted from 31 million tons of ore,” said Solomon Mweta, a spokesman for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

He explained in his report that most of the sediments were discovered in Karamoja, a sprawling arid region in the northeastern corner of the country on the border with Kenya. Large reserves are also found in the eastern, central and western regions of the East African country.

Mweta said China’s Wagagai has set up a mine in Busia, eastern Uganda, and production is expected to start this year. He said Wagagai had invested $200 million, and his mine would be a refining unit. The government of President Yoweri Museveni is seeking to increase investment in mining to develop resources such as copper, iron ore, gold, cobalt and phosphates.

Reuters said Parliament enacted a new mining law earlier this year that, once the president is signed, will pave the way for the creation of a state-owned mining company.

The company will compulsorily acquire a 15% stake in each mining operation and the investors will have to sign a production sharing agreement with the government. Previously, investors received mining production licenses on a first-come, first-served basis.

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