The Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines has called on investors to visit its museum in Entebbe to understand the type of minerals the country has in order to guide their investment decisions.
“Most people come to this museum just to see and discover the origin of the rocks and stones. But very few people come with a business mind. Yet it has a lot of business ideas in mineral investments,” Richard Kigwe, a geologist at DGSM, says.
Kigwe says they have beefed up the mineral samples at the museum. He said some samples have been picked from different parts of the country, which include phosphate, uranium, tantalite, cobalt, graphite, gold, limestone and copper, among others. He said most of these rocks and minerals in the museum are mainly for business investments, academics and research.
Molly Kibalama Bakka Male, the senior geologist in charge of the museum, says the museum still lacks crucial information on mineral samples and that poses a challenge when it comes to explaining issues to investors.
“We try to tell them most information is on the website but they don’t get satisfied,” she says.
Kibalama, who is also in charge of the laboratory where mineral samples are analysed, says they are trying to sensitise artisan miners to avoid dangerous means of mining such as using mercury.
“Mercury from mines contaminates water bodies and it affects Uganda’s fish on the international market due to contaminated water it feeds on,” she says.
Kibalama says they want to organize miners and sensitise them on better mining practices, give them licenses, with the aim of creating more economic value for the country.
Ruth Nankabirwa, the minister of Energy and Mineral Development, tasked the officials to ensure visibility of the mineral sector by writing more proposals which attract donors and investors.
“We must amplify the mineral subsector. We need strategic thinking in order to know where to put money in order to get more money. I am looking at minerals as one of the areas that can bring money very quickly in the economy,” she says.
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