Low value minerals offer revenues the country is seeking, Experts note to Ugandan government.
The government has been urged to set up policies, regulatory and institutional framework in order to tap into low value minerals that will boost revenue and propel the country into its vision 2040.
They say low value minerals which are mainly construction materials are not properly regulated to be given attention despite the value they hold in terms of contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).The minerals include dimension stones used for decorations, semi-precious stones used for making jewellery, limestone, marble, granites, sand, clay and murram.
Mr Don Binyina Bwesigye, the executive director of Africa Centre for Energy and Mineral Policy, said these minerals are not captured in the government revenue streams yet they are important to the development of the local government base.
“Those minerals are of low value because of the relatively low prices that they attract compared to high value minerals and precious stones. In the development agenda, government has not given them much attention to the value that they hold in terms of contributing to the GDP. For instance, the sand industry is not legally captured thereby government losing revenue,” Mr Bwesigye said at the opening of the National Extractives Development Stakeholders’ Dialogue in Kampala last week.
He added that the minerals offer an alternative and perfect substitute to the highly volatile Foreign Direct Investment dependent on large scale mining sector which is struggling to take off in Uganda.
Uganda is currently implementing the Vision 2040 strategically on exploiting opportunities that Uganda has through agriculture, tourism, oil and gas as well as industrialisation.
Other opportunities are competitive labour force, geographical positioning of the country, water resources and Information Communication Technology.