The State Minister of Investment, Evelyn Anite accompanied by Morrison Rwakakamba, the Chairman of Uganda Investment Authority and Director General, Robert Mukiza on Tuesday camped at the 9.4 square kilometres Wagagai gold mining infrastructure in Busia district, eastern Uganda.
The USD$200m modern goldmine, according to Anite, is prospected to produce 25 tons of pure gold annually and elevate to 50 tons at full production capacity.
“We spent a day in the goldmine tunnels of Wagagai Mining Company in Busia. World class mine will deliver over 25 tons of pure gold and 50 tons at full capacity per year,” said Anite.
Speaking inside the mining tunnel, she revealed that the country has 221 gold reserves valued at USD$3.4bn which is equivalent of Shs12.2tn.
“Uganda’s Gold reserves stand at over 221 metric tons, valued at over $3.4 billion,” she revealed.
The State Minister noted that Uganda also has other minerals and government has put in place deliberate policies to facilitate value addition.
“We want the world to know that Uganda has gold and many more minerals and also unveil the opportunities that exist in mining and value addition,” she said.
Mr. Rwakakamba said Uganda, in optimally harnessing the natural resources, is focused beyond the middle income status.
“Scaling World class Goldmine tunnels of Wagagai Company in Busia today. The Company is leveraging Uganda’s $620 billion minerals opportunity. Uganda looking to leap into 1st World,” he said.
Mukiza said the goldmine, already employing 6,000 people, is enjoying the conducive investment environment.
“The $200m Wagagai Gold Mine in Busia has already created 6,000 jobs and going to vastly increase when production starts in June next year. Uganda’s Investment Climate is clearly conducive and many bigger companies are coming,” said Mukiza.
“Wagagai Mining Company will be paying Shs 60bn annual remittances after achieving the full operations.”
UIA granted Wagagai Mining Company a 21 year mining lease to set up a large scale gold extraction plant in Mawero Parish, Butebo sub-county where there are estimated 12.5 tonnes of mineable gold reserves. It is the biggest quantified gold deposit in Uganda.