Iron-ore Mining, Smelting to Resume, to grow trade in Kigezi – Minister Bahati

Hon. David Bahati, State Minister of Finance for Planning

State Minister for Finance Mr David Bahati

Kabale – The Ndorwa West Member of Parliament, Hon. David Bahati Has dismissed reports that mining in the region has failed to take-off.

This development follows the alleged stalling of a multi-billion Iron Ore Smelting plant in Rubanda district who project has reportedly hang in balance.

Hon. Bahati, while addressing the press at Kabale Main Stadium on Saturday, intimated the Kigezi sub-region boosts of one of the biggest iron-ore deposits in East Africa.

“Kigezi sub-region holds up over 70% of the iron-ore deposits in Eastern Africa. We have been importing iron-ore tune of over USD350Milion. We have deposits that can last over 10 years,” said Bahati.

Bahati revealed that the government had banned the exportation of crude iron-ore in efforts to build capacity to smelt it in Uganda.  

“We are in the process of establishing an iron-ore melting plant in Rubanda District to provide the much-needed material to various industries. We petitioned the president to permit the exportation of the iron-ore that was already mined prior to the ban,” said Hon. Bahati.

Data from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development from surveys conducted between 2006 and 2008 confirmed the existence of 250 million tons of Iron ore deposits in the Kigezi region pending extraction.

Iron ore deposits were mostly discovered in Kanungu district, Bukimbiri (Kisoro), Muko, Nyamiringa and Nyamweru sub-counties (Rubanda) and Buhara Sub County (Kabale). The ore discovered in the Kigezi region is graded at 60 per cent iron.

On the status of Kigezi subregion, Minister Bahati revealed that the infrastructural development and improving the household incomes remains on top of the NRM government’s agenda.

The NRM government under the leadership of our revolutionary leader, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, will, in the next five years, prioritise infrastructural development – mainly roads that boost trade in the area. said Minister Bahati.

On improving household incomes for the people of Kigezi sub-region, the Ndorwa West MP cited the Women’s’ Fund, Youth Livelihood Programme (YLP) and the Emyooga Initiatives to support over 4.5 million people in the sub-region.

Under the YLP, a total of 962 Projects worth UGX7.291Billion have been funded since the inception of the programme in 2015, benefiting 11,510 Youth of whom 5,911 are Male and 5,599 are Female.

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On women’s fund, up to 703 Projects worth UGX 3.77 billion have been financed in Kigezi Sub- region, benefiting 8,702 women.

Minister Bahati made the remarks ahead of the arrival NRM chairperson and presidential flag bearer Yoweri Museveni who is set to address to party delegates drawn from Kabale, Kisoro, Rukiga and Rubanda districts as the campaign trail takes off in the Kigezi sub-region.

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