Uganda is set to construct an Iron Ore Smelting plant in Rubanda District in the Western Region of the country as part of fulfillment of a 2016 presidential pledge to set up a factory that will be using gas extracted from the Albertine region as a source of power instead of imported coal.
Gabriel Data, a Principal Geologist in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said that the smelting plant project is estimated to cost US $200m. A 250-acre piece of public land located in Kabirizi, Kanyamatembe and Kishaki villages in Rubanda town council has been issued to pave way for the plant.
Rubanda Iron Ore Plant project
Devki Group of Companies, won the contract to develop the plant. According to Mr. Gabriel, the decision to contact the Company was based on the geological surveys done between 2006 and 2008 that confirmed the existence of 250 million tons of Iron ore deposits in Kigezi region pending extraction.
The data indicated that Iron were mostly discovered in Kanungu, Kisoro,Rubanda and Kabale Districts. The ore discovered in Kigezi region is graded at 60% iron. Rubanda District Chairman Kenneth Jogo Biryabarema however noted that the iron ore deposits in Rubanda had been under-exploited through selling it at a cheap price to middlemen who transport it to factories in Jinja.
Chris Rubanagene, an official from Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development said that part of the proposed Tanzania – Uganda-Tanzania Natural Gas Pipeline, intended to carry liquefied natural gas between Uganda and Tanzania, will be extended to Rubanda to use in blasting Iron ore.
Construction of the plant will see more than 5,000 jobs established. The factory will additionally transform Uganda to a modern industrialized country.