Trouble For Mining Companies As Cabinet Maintains Ban On Raw Minerals Exports

Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to amend the Mining (Mining Licencing Regulations 2019) Act to incorporate a ban on exportation of all Minerals from Uganda.
The amendment is meant to cement President Yoweri Museveni’s earlier ban on exporting unprocessed minerals, which he announced back in 2011, as a way of ensuring more revenue and jobs.
The cabinet sitting yesterday and chaired by President Museveni upheld the 2011 ban of unprocessed mineral ores and concentrates from Uganda in order to promote in-country mineral value addition and industrialization.
The ban at the time sparked concerns amid fears that some investors would abandon their businesses.
Industry players warned government that Uganda does not have the processing capacity for all of its ore, and that the ban had forced many to scale back production.
Indeed, reports emerged later some projects were abandoned when the proprietors realized that it was not as profitable.
Amid the rising concerns, last month, Minister of Energy Hon Ruth Nankabirwa said the question about the ban would be determined once of all by cabinet, upon considering a technical briefing paper by the Directorate of Geological Surveys and Mines.
“I will be able to give you concrete information after a paper I’m presenting to cabinet on Monday is done,” said Nankabirwa.
During yesterday’s cabinet meeting, Minister Nankabirwa was directed to negotiate with companies holding licences that enable them to carry out semi-processing of minerals with a view of the companies being given preferential consideration in the implementation of the new policy.
Uganda has hosts a wide range and variety of minerals and metals such as: beryllium, copper, cobalt, gold, iron-ore, lead and zinc ores, lithium, nickel, columbile, tantalite, tin, titanium, tungsten, manganese and rare earth elements.
Industrial minerals found in Uganda include bentonite, diatomite, graphite, gypsum, feldspar, limestone and marble resources, kaolin, phosphates, pozzolana, salt, silica sand, uranium and vermiculite among others.