The Rwenzori Rare Metals, a company licensed to exploit Busoga’s mineral resources, has dismissed reports that the Makuutu Mineral resource is worth $370 billion as reported in some sections of the media.
In a letter signed by Patience Singo, Rwenzori Rare Metals country manager, the company fears that the erroneous information being disseminated publicly will raise unrealistic expectations in Busoga sub-region and could in fact jeopardise the development of the project.
“Whilst attempts to communicate the benefits and clarify any misunderstandings about the project are appreciated, there are a few factual errors and misconceptions that must be addressed,” the letter reads in part.
The company has also dismissed reports that were being peddled by some elements that the Makuutu mineral resource outweighs the value of Uganda’s oil and gas resources.
“The companies’ resource is 532 million tonnes @ 640 ppm Total Rare Earths Oxide (TREO) – this means that there is potentially a maximum of 340,000 tonnes of rare earth oxide available to mine,” the letter read, adding that this is nowhere near the value of Uganda’s oil and gas resources.
According to the letter, mineral exploration will start in 2024 with approximately 4,000 tonnes per annum over the ensuing three-year period and will gradually increase basing on the success of the initial mining operations.
“The Project will bring many benefits to Uganda, its districts and the communities in which it operates through royalties, tax revenues and employment,” the letter reads.
“The project in conjunction with government and NGOs will contribute to development of socio-economic infrastructure such as housing, roads, medical facilities and schools, among others, according to the letter.
The Project is in the process of applying for its mining lease as required by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. As part of this process as legislated under the provisions of the Mining Act 2003 and Mining Regulations 2019, the Company must, among others; prepare and submit a full feasibility study and assessment by appropriate experts, conduct an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) of the planned operations and the environmental restoration plan to be approved by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), secure landowner consent to the relevant area(s) in question and develop a Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) that will be used to mitigate the probable resettlement impacts to the project affected persons.