President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Friday inaugurated Uganda’s inaugural tin refining plant in Ruti, Mbarara City today, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s industrial development.

The refinery, owned by Woodcross Resources, encompasses a mining division dedicated to exploration, development, and operation of mining licenses in Uganda, alongside a commercial-scale tin refinery in Mbarara, and a mineral trading division sourcing concentrate from audited mining sites across the Great Lakes Region of East Africa.

Tin, a crucial mineral used in various applications such as metal coating, solder production, electronics, and tin can manufacturing, holds immense economic potential for Uganda. President Museveni emphasized the importance of value addition to the country’s raw materials, highlighting the loss of revenue incurred by exporting unprocessed minerals.

President Museveni commended Woodcross for their investment, underscoring the economic benefits of processing tin domestically, including job creation and revenue generation. He reiterated the government’s stance on promoting local processing to attract investors and reduce business costs.

Additionally, the President emphasized the importance of adding value to other key exports like coffee and cotton, stressing the need to retain profits and create jobs locally.

Furthermore, President Museveni cautioned against individuals who exploit Africa’s resources and advocated for responsible leadership to harness the continent’s wealth for sustainable development.

In a gesture of support, President Museveni made financial contributions to the SACCO of LC1 Chairpersons in Mbarara City and Pentecostal Churches in the area.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa, acknowledged President Museveni’s vision and persistence in promoting mineral value addition, which led to the establishment of Uganda’s first tin processing plant. She highlighted the government’s commitment to ensuring high purity standards for tin production.

Minister of State for Mineral Development, Hon. Phiona Nyamutoro, praised the President’s leadership and urged young people to seize opportunities in the mineral sector, emphasizing the role of value addition in national development.

Local leaders, including Mbarara City South MP, Hon. Mwine Mpaka, and Mayor Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, lauded President Museveni’s efforts in enhancing Uganda’s industrial capacity and creating employment opportunities through value addition initiatives.

Woodcross Resources Managing Director, Mr. Omid Ameri, expressed gratitude for the government’s support and reaffirmed the company’s commitment to Uganda’s economic growth. He highlighted Uganda’s strategic position in the global tin market and the refinery’s contribution to enhancing the nation’s reputation as a reliable tin producer.

The inauguration of Uganda’s first tin refinery represents a significant step towards industrialization and economic diversification, aligning with President Museveni’s vision for a prosperous and self-reliant Uganda.

Monica Mbabazi

Monica Mbabazi is a celebrated multimedia Ugandan Journalist currently working as a news anchor on Top Radio and BTM Television. She is also a writer with Plus News Uganda.

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