Uganda's first-ever gold refinery has opened today.
The refinery that is owned by Victoria Gold Star Limited, was commissioned in Kampala by the Minister for Energy and Mineral Development Hillary Onek and the Managing Director of Victoria Gold Star, Yuri Bogorodistkiy.
Bogorodistkiy said the refinery will produce 99.9 percent refined gold for export. He said supplies will come from local mines as well as from Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
According to Uganda Investment Authority, Uganda's gold industry almost doubled in the past ten years. The country has gold mines in Busia, Buhweju, Mubende and Karamoja. The Busia goldfield is considered an extension of the Lake Victoria Goldfields located in Tanzania.
In a statement released by the Media Center, Hillary Onek said the investment by Victory Gold Star was an investment into Uganda's young, but growing mining industry. He said it will offer valuable employment to Ugandans and boost the industrial profile of the country.
The Victoria Gold Star refinery has the capacity to process at least 60 kilograms of gold a day. The company expects to more than triple output subject to more supplies and the government's approval.
Senior officials in the Ugandan government and the army have in the past fallen foul of international investigators for channeling stolen gold, diamonds and timber from the Democratic Republic of Congo through Uganda.
In an interview with the American news service, Bloomberg, the State Minister for Energy and Minerals Peter Lokeris said everything is being done by the book this time round. He said Uganda Uganda has a mineral processing protocol with the Congolese government which it's trying to exploit by attracting investors in the mineral processing sector.
Lokeris said Uganda would deal with mineral exporters from Congo in a transparent way.