New Vision (Kampala)

20 May 2010

Uganda: Scramble for Minerals Begins

Kampala — Foreign firms are rushing to get hold of mineral deposits as prices continue to rise due to economic recovery.

Firms from China, India, Australia and South Africa have shown interest in exploring and producing the minerals.

"We have really attracted significant investors both abroad and local ones. They are all doing well," Joshua Tuhumwire, the commissioner in charge of geology department in the ministry of mineral development, said.

The revelations come shortly after an aerial survey report confirmed that Uganda is endowed with copper, iron ore, cobalt, tin, gold as well as platinum.

There is anticipation for Foreign Direct Investment in the mineral exploration sector in the Great Lakes region as China looks for raw materials to oil its growing economy.

China's entry into Africa is seen as catalyst for renewed interest in Africa by the European Union and US to undermine China's emerging influence due its non-political interference policy on investments in Africa and the potential for monopoly access to energy and mineral resources.

China is not alone in searching for mineral supply. Already the Russians have installed a 1.5m gold refinery in Kampala to process gold within Uganda as well as from the region.

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