In order to operationalize the Mineral Policy, a new legislation, Mining Act, 2003 was enacted and appropriate regulations were gazetted thereby replacing the Act of 1964 which was out-dated in many respects. The provisions in the new Act conform to the contemporary industry conditions and practices.
Ownership of Minerals – this is vested in Government and their exploration and exploitation require authority from Government.
Royalties – All minerals obtained from any mineral right are subjected to royalty payment for example: precious stones – 5% of the gross value, precious metals – 3% of the gross value, base metals and ores – 3% of the gross value, and industrial minerals vary from 500 to 3000 Uganda shillings per tonne.
Adequate Compensation – the law provides for fair compensation upon disturbance of surface rights of landowner or lawful occupier.
Mineral Agreements – the law provides the investor and government sign agreements relating to operations in order to stabilize legal, social and economic obligations of either party. Types on mineral rights – for the purpose of carrying out prospecting, exploration and mining, the law provides for a number of licences namely:
Prospecting Licence – the licence is granted to the holder to prospect for minerals around the country and the licence is non-exclusive. It is granted for one year and is not renewable.
Exploration Licence – the licence area is to a maximum of 500 sq. km and duration of 3 years, renewable for two terms of 2 years each. On each renewal, half the area is relinquished.
Retention Licence – the licence is a new feature in the law. It is granted to the holder of an exploration licence in cases when the identified mineral deposit can not be exploited due to economic reasons. Its duration is 3 years, renewable once for 2 years.
Mining Lease – the licence is for mining operations and is granted for 21 years and is renewable for 15 years.
Location Licence – the licence is for mining operations of a smaller investment where expenditure to achieve production will not exceed 500 currency points (a currency point is worth 20,000 Uganda shillings). It is granted to citizens of Uganda or in case of corporate, only where citizens of Uganda hold at least 51% of ownership. Its duration is 2 years, renewable for other terms of 2 years each.
Geological Survey & Mines Department
P.O. Box 9 Entebbe, Uganda
Telephone: 256-41-4320118/4320656; 4320559