The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has taken 30 members of the Mubende District Artisan Miners Association to Tanzania for a benchmarking trip on best mining practices especially for gold.
The five-day exercise will see the group visit several mining sites in Mwanza and Geita including market exploration areas.
The delegation will be led by Minister of State for Minerals, Hon Peter Lokeris, and includes, cabinet officials, officials from the Geological Survey and Mines, officials from the Ministry of Energy, Mubende District Leaders and representatives from Artisan and Small Mining (ASM)Association
According to Hon. Lokeris, Uganda’s Mining Sector is still largely consisting of ASM which are still facing major challenges like inadequate regulations, interference from local politics, Nomadic ways of ASM operations, influx of insecurity, environmental degradation among others.
“The ASM is always viewed in a negative manner, instead of us understanding the structural challenges that face the sector so as to improve the sector’s opportunities for sustainable development” he said.
He added “The Ministry’s priority I’d to harness the energy and mineral resources for employment creation, value addition, industrialization, and local content development. This trip is one way of achieving that.”
The Minister noted that Tanzanian was selected because of its rich experience by in gold mining.
“This will also strengthen our E. Africa community spirits. Lessons learnt from this trip will be used to inform policy, legal and regulatory reforms for Ugandan sector. The lessons will be pioneered in Mubende District where ASM of gold are predominant” the minister said.
Over a million Ugandans are employed in the ASM sector dealing in artisan mines like Gold, Tin, Tungsten, Columbite Tantalite, Iron ore, Limestone, Clay, Sand, Granites, salt among others