Management of Wagagai getting the licenses from UFZA officials
The government has licenced Wagagai gold mining company, a Chinese firm to start producing gold products in Busia district. The company embarked on the construction of its gold refinery valued at USD 200m in phases in the district in 2016.
The second phase is expected to begin next year. Work is expected to be completed in 2025. The company will produce 1000 tons of gold for export annually once gold production beings in June 2023 as planned.
Tan Chun Chi, the general manager of the Wagagai gold mining company, says that the investment has reached US $60 million. He explains that they have been lagging behind in the construction due to the lack of the two licenses and expect to double their speed because they expect to begin gold production by July 2023.
Peter Balimunsi, the Chairperson of Board of Directors, Uganda Free Zones Authority- (UFZA) who represented the minister of finance, planning and economic development, Matia Kasaija, during the official handover of both the mining and development licenses to Wagagai gold company at the company premises on Monday, said that the government will begin monitoring all the mining activities in the area once the company begins gold production.
He described the issuance of the two certificates as timely, saying they will enable the company to appreciate all the government policies and abide by them by the time they begin gold mining.
Kimoomi Alonda, the executive director of UFZA, says that the exportation of gold products will boost the economy and also help improve the standards of living for the residents. UFZA is a government agency created for the purposes of creating opportunities for export-oriented investments.
Alonda says that as a government agency, they have placed much focus on Wagagai, which is expected to recruit over 3000 workers and produce tons of gold annually for export.
John Rex Achila, the Busia Resident District commissioner, appealed to the gold mining investors to use local labourers and train them where necessary to help in the fight against household poverty in the area.