Uganda: Mineral Conference to Focus On Value Addition – by Justus Lyatuu (All Africa.com – September 30, 2015)

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Officials of mining firms, both local and international, will converge in Kampala for the fourth Mineral Wealth Conference on October 1 and 2, looking for opportunities in an industry that is sometimes touted to be bigger than the oil and gas sector.

Richard Kaijuka, the vice chairman of the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP), the body organising the conference, said the annual MWC was fast becoming East Africa’s flagship mining convention as it played a significant role in highlighting the huge untapped potential of Uganda’s, and the region’s, fledgling mining industries.

“Uganda enjoys a wealth of minerals ranging from gold, copper, iron ore, vermiculite, tin, tantalite, tungsten, nickel, platinum and phosphate; however, fully exploiting these minerals remains a work in progress as extensive exploration has not been done. So under such conferences we need to engage different stakeholders and the private sector,” he said.

Uganda is also said to hold deposits of rare earth elements, whose value alone is said to be bigger than Uganda’s entire oil industry. Kaijuka explained that the conference was organised in collaboration with the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Africa Mining Network, Win Win 4 Africa Consultancy and African Legal Support Facility.

Kaijuka said at least 400 delegates are expected to attend the conference whose theme is Minerals Value Addition – Road to Development. He said this year’s conference is organized in line with Uganda’s Vision 2040, which projects to transform the country into a middle-income economy.

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