Chinese firm Wagagai gold mining company limited has embarked on the construction of a gold refinery in Busia district. Valued at US$ 200M, the gold refinery will seat on 300 acres of land covering Alupe, Akipenet, Amagoro, and Amonikakine villages in Buteba Sub-county.
Speaking at the ground-breaking event on Tuesday, Peter Lokeris, the State Minister for Minerals, said once completed, this will be the biggest gold refinery in the country. He said the refinery will earn the local government and central government a lot of money through gold exports.
Agness Alaba, the Acting Director of Geological Survey, says they have discovered gold deposits worth 8.9 million tons in the area.
Lui Hui, the general manager of Wagagai gold mining company limited, says that they will construct the gold refinery in two phases with each phase costing US$ 100million. He says that they expect to complete the first phase in 2023.
According to Lui, they expect to pay the Uganda government over US$ 20million annually in taxes once they start exporting the gold.
James Omuse, a resident of Alupe village, says that they want the company to source most of its staff from the local community and pay local revenue to develop the area.
Steven Wafula, one of those affected by the gold refinery construction works, says that he has not received his compensation. He appealed to the company to expedite their compensation to allow them to move on with their lives.