The licensing of mining will with effect from this year be competitive. The law also provides for mineral processing licenses.
is to resume the issuance of new mining licenses as the new mining and Minerals Act takes effect.
The issuance of
the licenses by the Directorate of Geological Surveys and Mines had been temporally
halted pending the guidelines after the enactment of the Mining and Mineral
The State Minister
for Minerals, Peter Lokeris says that with the guidelines in place, the Directorate
Of Geological Surveys and Mines which under the law is the regulator of the mineral
sector can proceed with the issuance of new licenses across the country.
speaking at the opening of a four-day minerals workshop in Kampala.
workshop is mainly aimed at sensitizing players in the mining sector about the
new mining laws and regulations.
to the minister, the new law has for the first time recognized artisan miners.
The new law established classes of mineral rights which include small-sale and artisanal
In “The Artisanal Miners...
Out....training and explanation”//
licenses in the law include large-scale mining licenses; medium-scale mining licenses
and small-scale mining licenses.
While the licensing has been on halt, the
minister revealed that the country has over time registered an increase in the
number of persons or companies awarded different types of mining licenses.
“In 2003, there were about 100 mineral licences.
As of 30th June 2023, we have
granted 556 (Five hundred fifty-six) licenses, these include 249 (two hundred forty-nine) exploration licenses, 8 (eight) retention licenses, 48 (forty-eight) mining Leases, and 76
(seventy-six) location licenses.
increase in licenses in the mineral sector is accompanied by a corresponding
increase in income and revenue from the sector,” he said.
//Cue in “We have granted
Cue Out….location licenses”//
The licensing of mining will with effect from this
year be competitive. The law also provides for mineral processing licenses. It also
provides for express penalties.
the sector have reportedly been on the increase from about $ 5 million in 2003 to
$ 800 million dollars in 2017.
ministry has been hesitant to release earnings for the period 2017 to date.
that time, President Museveni banned the export of unprocessed minerals saying
the country would earn more value if minerals were processed. A number of
miners have been urging the President to lift the ban.
However, according to the latest finding by the Uganda Extractive Industries
Transparency Initiative (UGEITI), Total revenues received from the extractive sector amounted to UGX 241.34 billion
in FY 2020-21. Revenues collected by the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA)
accounted for 95.72% of the total revenue streams generated by the sector. The mining sector specifically contributed slightly above
61 billion shillings.
Earnings from non-tax
revenue (NTR) in license fees, annual mineral rent, and royalties have
according to the minister significantly increased from approximately 1.8 billion Uganda Shillings in 2003
to 11.3 billion Uganda Shillings in FY
According to the Uganda
Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicates that the mining and quarrying sector
accounted for UGX 2.626 trillion in the FY2020-21, which represents 1.8%.
part of the effort to earn more from the sectors, Lokeris said the ministry
expects to begin the implementation of the Mineral Resources
Infrastructure Development Project (MRIP) from 2023 to 2028 whose main
objective is to establish key infrastructure for monitoring and regulation of
exploration and mining activities in the country.
2040 envisions a minerals sector that is a major driver of employment creation
and GDP growth. The National Development Plan III (NDP III) shows that in
2017/2018, the number of people employed in the mineral sector was 1.6 million. This number is expected
to rise to 2.6 million in
Mercury in gold
The new law is expected to target the elimination of the
widespread use of mercury in the mining of gold. Uganda is a signatory to the Minamata Convention on Mercury
, a global
agreement for reducing mercury pollution.
It recognizes the risks of using mercury in
artisanal and small-scale gold mining and calls upon nations to reduce, and
where feasible eliminate mercury use in this sector.
Mercury use remains widespread in artisan mining across
It is mixed with gold-containing
materials, forming a mercury-gold amalgam which is then heated, vaporizing the
mercury to obtain the gold.
Lokeris warned miners that the use of mercury does
not only harm the environment but the health of those who use it.
//Cue In “Well you might say...
Cue Out…. including yourselves.” //
He said the Government
is also collaborating with Partners such as planetGOLD in Uganda whose main
objective is to reduce the use of mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold
mining and improve the health and lives of local mining communities.
gender inclusion officer, Sarah Natumanya revealed that about 73% of gold
processing in Uganda involves the use of mercury.
//Cue in “Mercury
is a very….
She said they
are targeting over 4,500 artisan miners about the mercury-free mining options.
mercury in artisanal and small-scale gold mining—the world’s largest
source of anthropogenic emissions of mercury pollution— while improving
the health and lives of local mining communities.