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Parliament to discuss new mining law next month

Hon. Peter Lokeris

Hon. Peter Lokeris

A new mining law to be debated by parliament starting next month promises to improve the environment for investment and generally enhance Uganda’s mining sector.

“We hope to have a new law for debate in Parliament by December,” Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for mineral development told the annual general meeting of the Uganda Chamber of Minerals and Petroleum (UCMP), an outfit that brings together players in the petroleum and mining sectors last week.

Hon. Lokeris said the new law is part of an ongoing review of Uganda’s fiscal and regulatory framework intended to “reshape the future” of the country’s mining sector.

Government has been reviewing the Mining Act, 2003 and Mining Regulations, 2004 to align them with the revised Mineral Policy.

The reviewed framework aims to address several issues that have haunted the sector including; conflicts over competing land uses, the rise of unregulated artisanal and small scale mining activities and the inadequate enforcement of health and safety provisions.

The new framework also aims to increase productivity and the creation of new mines by establishing financing mechanisms for artisanal, small scale and large scale mining. It is hoped that the new policy will further improve mineral revenue collection and management and usher in a transparent competitive bidding system.

UCMP’s Chairman, Elly Karuhanga, welcomed the review as part of the continuous efforts by government to create a favourable environment for investment in extractives.

“The review of the laws and regulations for the mining sector, removal of taxes on exploration for oil, gas and mining investments and the continued energy and infrastructure development efforts are all the much needed interventions to address the bottlenecks in our sector,” Karuhanga told the meeting.

Karuhanga also hailed government for heeding calls by UCMP to reconsider the ban on mineral exports, which he said had affected the sector. President Yoweri Museveni lifted the ban in August this year.

Report by Haggai Matsiko

editor@oilinuganda.org