By Julius Businge
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development has started the process of revising some clauses in the mining laws to attract the highly mobile capital and finance needed to establish a modern and viable mining industry.
The laws in question are; the Mineral Policy, which was put in place in 2001, the Mining Act, 2003 and the attendant regulations established in 2004. While speaking at the Mining Policy, Law and Taxation conference held on July 16-18 at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, the permanent secretary of the energy ministry said globalization has opened up new investment frontiers leading to an increase in the pool of risk capital available for exploration and mining development. Kaliisa said for Uganda to sustain the attraction of mobile international capital, it is imperative to review the current legal regime.
He added that other laws-land laws and tax laws that directly impact on the mineral development have to be amended. Ugandans expects the bulk of its commercial oil production to start by the end of 2017 as it awaits a pipeline to export crude oil and a refinery to be built, according to information from the energy ministry. The discovery could lead to billions of dollars in revenue from expected crude oil exports of 140,000 barrels a day (bpd) and production of about 200,000 bpd, which is expected to boost East Africa’s third-largest economy.
Three oil firms – Britain’s Tullow Oil, France’s Total and China’s CNOOC are involved in the oil business. The country has substantial deposits of high-value minerals—precious metal [gold, diamond, silver and copper], construction minerals [limestone, clay and granite] and industrial minerals [salt and tungsten].