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China-Backed Investor Licensed to Mine Limestone in Moroto :: Uganda Radionetwork

China-Backed Investor Licensed to Mine Limestone in Moroto

The company will mine 8,000 tonnes of limestone daily at Moroto’s Rupa Sub-County in Karamoja sub-region.
22 Feb 2024 18:43
Minister of Energy Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu addressing journalists. Photo by Dominic Ochola

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The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has granted a large-scale mining license to Sunbird Resources Limited to mine lime in Mororo District.

Sunbird Resources Ltd has partnered with West International Holdings Ltd, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed West China Cement Ltd. Together, they're establishing a 6000 Tonnes Per Day Clinker Lime and one million tonnes Per Year. The company plans to construct a Cement Factory in Nadunget Sub-County as part of the value addition requirement. It is anticipated that the factory together with the mining of the minerals will create 600 direct and 3000 indirect jobs.

  The cement factory aspires to be the largest in Uganda, striving for import substitution by reducing reliance on the import of 2.4 million tonnes of clinker annually, valued at over $700 million. 

According to the World Bank  Uganda imports Cement clinkers whether or not colored from countries like United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kenya among others. 

The license according to the Minister of Energy and Minerals, Ruth Nakbirwa requires Sunbird to mine 8000 tonnes of limestone per day from Rupa Sub-county in Moroto District.

Nankabirwa while handing over the license at  the Ministry’s headquarters on Thursday said she was happy that the panned development will contribute to import substitution but also create value within Karamoja. 

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Sunbird Resources’s Director, Ambrose Byoona said  the license that took effect on January 21, 2024, follows a consolidated and systematic exploration work that commenced in 2015, resulting in the discovery of over 67 million tonnes of Clinker-able limestone.

Byoona explained that Ugandan cement manufacturers have been paying about six hundred thousand shillings to import a tonne of clinker from Kenya, India, Egypt, Brazil, Russia, and Iran among others

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It is the second-largest mining license issued by the Ministry after it awarded Rwenzori Rare Metals Limited, an Australian company a 21-year license in January to explore 44 square kilometres of rare earth minerals in the Busoga sub-region.

Sunbird Resources has partnered with West International Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of West China Cement Limited, a Hong Kong-listed company, an international enterprise integrating cement production, marketing, corporate management, and industrial investment, to set up 6,000 tonnes of Clinker Line, and one million tonnes per year cement factory at Nadunget Sub-County.

The USD 300 million or bout 1.164 trillion Shillings' overall investment will culminate in royalty payments to the consolidated fund of over 160 million Shillings per day of operation. The factory, on completion which is expected in July 2025 is projected to be the largest cement plant in Uganda.

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