Uganda signs deal with S. African company to detect mineral deposits

Uganda signs deal with S. African company to detect mineral deposits

Tuesday, August 29th 2006

The Ugandan government has contracted a South African company to carry out an airborne survey to detect the hidden mineral deposits across the east African country.

Fugro Airborne Surveys Ltd, a South Africa based company, has beaten two other bidders GPX Survey of Australia and GTK of Finland to win the contract with Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

The five million dollar contract, to be financed with an African Development Bank grant, would cover the most area of the country, according to the Sunday Monitor.

Fred Kabagambe Kaliisa, the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, said the purpose of the survey was to reduce exploration risks that are taken by investors.

“Mineral deposits are usually buried under soil debris or rocks, and it is very difficult to discover them. Once the properties are detected, we know we have a target and once we have a target, we will invite investors to explore the targets,” he said.

Daudi Migereko, the Energy Minister said the project was timely because it had been introduced at a time when the government had taken a decision to aggressively exploit the country’s mineral potential as was currently the case in the petroleum sector.

He added that the government would provide an enabling environment to investors who wish to become players in the mineral sector.

The exercise, which is slated to commence in December this year, will be conducted over a period of 18 month.

The geo-science data obtained from the targeted regions will then be packaged and availed to local and foreign investors through the Internet, and at the department of Geological Survey and Mines in the Energy ministry.

Copyright ©2003 Xinhua News Agency. All rights reserved.

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