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Gov’t Considers Gazetting Sand, Murram As Minerals

Land affected by sand mining activities in Lwera/Courtesy photo

The Uganda Government is considering gazetting sand, murram and other substances as minerals following the increasing commercial exploitation of the substances in question.

This has been revealed by the Minister of State for Minerals, Peter Lokeris while appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources to table the Mining and Minerals Bill 2021.

This is after the Kikuube Woman MP, Flora Natumanya and West Budama South MP, Emmanuel Otaala questioned whether the government has plans to classify sand, murram and building materials as minerals.

In response, Lokeris informed the committee that under the constitution, building materials are not classified as minerals but parliament has the powers to regulate the exploitation of any substance excluded from the definition of a mineral when exploited for commercial purposes.

Lokeris now says that a person will not be allowed to exploit building substances without a quarry license but says that these can be used for domestic purposes without a license.

Under the Bill, government is proposing  that a  person who conducts  exploration, mining, processing, refining or other beneficiation operation under Uganda’s jurisdiction without an authorisation, license, lease, permit or approval shall be liable to a fine not exceeding one hundred thousand currency points or imprisonment not exceeding ten years or both .

The Acting Director Geological Survey and Mines at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Agnes Alaba informed the committee that they have written to cabinet to approve the amendment of the constitution so that building substances can be classified as minerals but they are yet to get feedback.

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