Parliament passes Mining and Minerals Bill 2021. On 17 February 2022 Parliament of Uganda Chaired by the Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Anita Among passed the Mining and Minerals Bill, 2021 which will see the establishment of the Uganda National Mining Company. This will manage the government’s commercial holding and participating interests in mineral agreements.
This will also mandate the National Mining Company to hold 15 percent free equity in all large and medium mining ventures as well as have the right to pay up 20 percent extra shares in the mining ventures at the commercial rate.
Hon Emmanuel Otaala the Chairperson of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources revealed that the mineral agreements and Production Sharing Agreements will apply to highly capitalized investment and complex mining.
The new law also provides for the participation of host communities in the entire decision-making chain of mining whereby information on licenses, environment, and social impact assessments will be provided both at the national and local government levels.
Local governments shall also receive reports and plans of the companies operating in their jurisdiction in a period of every six months for districts, sub-counties, and landowners to assess the expected royalties from within their boundaries.
The amended law mandates applicants for exploration licenses to provide a statement with proposals in regard to employment and training of Ugandans, (a training plan where people living in the host communities of the mining operations shall be prioritized and a budget while applying for the license as a succession plan for minimizing dependence on expatriates in favor of skills developed through this training).
The Bill was amended to provide for requirements in respect to individuals or a group of individuals applying for prospective licenses. The old law only provided for the requirements of a prospecting license in respect to a company but did not provide for individuals.
The committee also recommended that regulation for exploitation of building substances should be regulated in a separate law rather than being lamped up in a law that regulates minerals.
“Government should move a bill to regulate building substances such as sand, clay, and murram,” Otaala said.