Government has halted the operations of DAO African minerals limited, a multimillion dollar Saudi Arabian company in Moroto district, citing breach of agreement.
This was revealed on Sunday by Peter Lokeris, the state minister for mineral development and his counterpart James Mutende, the state minister for of Industry, Technology. The two ministers ordered DAO African minerals limited to halt its operations.
They instructed police and Moroto district local government to ensure that no activity takes place until the company provides binding documents. The ministers were on a tour of mining sites in Rupa Sub County with local leaders when they bumped on employees of DAO shaping marble ready for export contrary to the license issued by government.
Lokeris says the Saudi company applied for an exploration license not a mining lease. He explains that exploration means establishing whether the mineral deposits are sufficient and of high quality.
He blamed the investors for mining which is a potential threat to the revenue of government. Lokeris reiterated government’s commitment to discipline errant investors. He asked the police to investigate how much marble has been sent by the investor to Mombasa for shipping to the United Arab Emirates.
The company has deployed sophisticated machines including excavators and bulldozers that shape marble boulders into blocks weighing over one tonne. Mutende says this was unacceptable given the condition in which the Karimojong are nursing poverty.
He describes the investor’s act as indiscipline of highest order which the Uganda government will not tolerate. Arnold Ananura, the Head of Logistics and Commercial Operations for DAO- African limited denied involvement in mining. He explains that the company was carrying out mineral exploration. He adds that excavating boulders was aimed at establishing the quality of marble.
Marble is used for home furnishings, producing statues, floors, counters, clocks, hot plates, tables, pillars and structural resurfacing amongst others.