Gold, Uranium Search Intensifies In Northern Uganda

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In short
Several exploration companies have intensified the search for minerals such as gold, limestone and uranium in northern Uganda.

Several exploration companies have intensified the search for minerals such as gold, limestone and uranium in northern Uganda.
The companies have signed exploration licenses for huge acreage measuring hundreds of square kilometers where they expect to locate and mine the minerals. An exploration license is area specific and exclusive to the holder. It’s granted for three years and renewable for two terms of two years each. While a company can apply for up to 500 square kilometers, they are expected to relinquishment half of the exploration area upon renewal of the license.
Information, which Uganda Radio Network obtained from the ministry of Energy’s department of Geological Survey and Mines shows that companies such as Perl Mining, Fergie Mineral, Universal Empire and Doher Industries among others, have since 2010 been carrying out exploration activities in various areas in northern Uganda.
According to the information, Pearl Mining Company Limited is carrying out exploration for gold in Gulu and Oyam districts while Fergie Minerals, another exploration company is searching for gold in Apac district. Universal Empire Limited is exploring areas of Lamwo and Doher Industries is searching for gold in areas of Dokolo, Kaberamaido and Amolatar districts.
Another company, the East African Mineral Explorer, has acquired the license to search for minerals in areas of Oyam, Apac and Lira districts.
The report at the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development shows that Uganda has over thirty Uranium targets with ten suspected deposit areas in Gulu, Kitgum, Arua, Pakwach, Masindi, Hoima–Kibaale, Fort Portal and Mbarara, while the areas of Aboke and Aloi in Lira district are suspected to have gold deposits.
Pravin Ghelani, an official at Doher Industries, one of the companies exploring for minerals in the region, confirmed to Uganda Radio Network about their activities but said their planned exploration has been slowed by financial constraints. He however added that they hoped to scale up their search before their license expires next year.
It was not possible however to verify the successes so far registered on the explorations. According to Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, most of the companies do not file reports to show their exploration progress making it difficult to ascertain the success of the mineral searches.
However, while reports at the ministry indicate increased mineral exploration, the local authorities in the respective districts lack information about the activities. Tito Oryema, the LC5 vice chairman of Kitgum district told URN that he has not heard about any mineral exploration activities in the district but admits that there are speculations about the presence of limestone and other minerals in the district.
Alfred Oremo Alot, the LC5 chairman of Lira district also said he was not aware about any exploration activities in the area although information at the ministry shows that  mineral search in the district by private companies has been going on since 2010.
However, Peter Lokeris, the state minister for Minerals, says that the exploration companies are required to report to the local authorities before undertaking the exploration activities. He added that they expect to amend the Mining Act to provide for the involvement of the local councils to enable them monitor the activities.
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