Gold production in Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has increased drastically. Currently, gold accounts for 30 percent of export revenue in Uganda and about 38 percent in the DR Congo. With gold deposits that are widely distributed across Uganda and DRC, we developed interest in investing in gold mining and today, we are among the leading exporters and producers of gold in East Africa.
Where gold is found in Uganda
Most of our gold comes from various sites in Uganda and DRC. In Uganda, our gold production is done in popular mining sites of Karamoja, Busia (in eastern Uganda), Mubende and Buhweju. The Rupa Gold mine of Karamoja is an informal mine that is situated about ten kilometers north of Moroto Town in Uganda. We purchase gold extracted at Rupa mine. The dugout earth is taken to homemade containers to be washed and sieved then we transport it Kampala or Nairobi for sale.
The Buhweju-Mashonga goldmine was discovered in 1933 and its gold deposits in are found in water areas. This gold mine is located in Busia, Eastern Uganda. It consists of Banded Iron Formation and Quartz vein hosted deposits. Gold mining in Busia gold field in conducted in Mawero Parish, Butebo sub-country and has about 13 tons of gold reserves. It is the largest gold deposit in Uganda and gold extraction can be done on large scale. Modern technology is used for extracting gold in Busia gold field and mining here is done underground. In Mubende, gold mining is done in Lujinji Village, Kitumbi sub-country.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, gold mining sites include Gorumbwa Gold Mine in the northeast, Agbarabo Gold Mines and Durba Gold Mines in the northeast.
Stages of goldmine
Before gold is mined, we first carryout a significant exploration and development to determine the size of the gold deposit in a particular gold mine. The process or lifecycle of gold mine starts with exploration (1-10 years), development (this takes about 1 to 5 years), operation (10-30 years), decommissioning (1-5 years) and the post closure.
Gold production in Uganda and DRC starts with breaking the ground or rock into smaller particles. At the mill, it is crushed using crushers to reduce the ore to pieces smaller than the size of road gravel which then is put in rotating drums filled with steel balls. The ore is ground to powder then mill operators thicken it with water to make pulp that will go through series of leaching tanks. The leaching dissolves gold out of the ore with help of chemical solvent (Cyanide). Gold dissolves and small carbon grains are put into the tank for it to adhere to the carbon.
Filtering the pulp through screens separates the gold bearing carbon. The carbon moves to a stripping vessel where hot caustic solution separates the gold from carbon and another screen filters the carbon grains out that can be recycled. The gold bearing solution will be ready for electro winning that recovers the gold from leaching chemicals. From here, the gold bearing solution is poured into a special container called cell.
Smelting then results into nearly pure gold and after adding a chemical mixture called flux to molten material, the gold separates from metals used to make terminals. The flux is poured away and gold remains. The molds are then used to turn liquid gold to solid bars known as Dore bars and the low purity bars are sent to refineries worldwide for further processing. Refining is the last gold production stage and involves removing impurities.