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Energy Transition Opens Potential Demand For Uganda Minerals

Energy Ministry says copper is being washed away by floods from R.Nyamwamba down to Kasese

The energy transition is an opportunity for Uganda to exploit its vast mineral resources says expert in minerals.  

Uganda has copper, cobalt, tungsten, beryllium, columbite, tantalite, gold, lead and zinc, lithium, tin, and iron. Some of these minerals have been listed globally as critical in the energy transition.  

Minerals are essential components in many of today’s rapidly growing clean energy technologies – from wind turbines and electricity networks to electric vehicles. 

Dr. Luisa Moreno an Equities Analyst with Canadian-based Tahuti Global says Uganda needs good policies to attract foreign investors in minerals.   Moreno was one of the speakers at the 10th Annual Wealth Conference organized by Uganda Chamber of Mines. 

The European Union recently announced that it will support initiatives to have these minerals. Chin dominates global export critical minerals.According to the May 2021 International Energy Agency’s  Report The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions, demand for critical minerals is set to sour over the next two decades as the world pursues net zero goals. The report said their demand will rise as much as six times. The requirement for lithium will rise much faster.      

The National Development Plan III identifies the mineral’s sector as one of the 18 programs of the Vision 2040.

Jonan Kandwanaho, a senior planner with National Planning Authority says five minerals have been chosen that can be priorities in the next five years.  

It appears like the government has not prioritized  cobalt among the essential minerals yet is has been discovered in Kasese and parts of northern Uganda. Cobalt is one of the critical minerals in the energy transition. 

Uganda used to be one of the exporters of copper from Kilembe Mines. But it is no longer producing. The mine based in Kasese was recently destroyed by floods from River Nyammwamba.

Former Energy Ministry Permanent Secretary, Robert Kasande while handing over office recently lamented the fact that the mineral is being swept down.

While Kilembe is in desolate state, Kandwanaho says cooper may soon make a comeback.

 As we head towards net-zero emissions, record quantities of copper will be required. Copper is critical for solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and battery storage.


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