Uganda is set to launch the country’s first tin refining plant in the south-western region next month, Reuters reported.

The move is expected to support the country’s efforts to expand its mineral processing capacity.

This plant is owned by Uganda-based mining and mineral trading company Woodcross Resources.

The establishment of the tin refining facility aligns with President Yoweri Museveni’s strategy to maximise the benefits of Uganda’s mineral exports, according to the news agency.

The country, which already hosts several gold refineries, is expanding its mineral processing capabilities.

Recently, Chinese-backed Sunbird Resources was awarded a licence to mine limestone for cement production, indicating a growing interest in Uganda’s mining sector.

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Woodcross Resources’ website details that the company holds a tin mining licence covering an area of 40km² in western Uganda.

The upcoming tin refining plant boasts an annual capacity of more than 1,000 tonnes, signifying a substantial contribution to the country’s mineral processing industry.

Energy and Mineral Development Ministry official Irene Bateebe was quoted by the news agency as saying: “We are preparing to launch our very first tin processing facility.

“They will be refining tin to over 99% in terms of its purity,” Bateebe added, without revealing the size of the investment. Woodcross did not immediately respond to a request for a comment, said Reuters.

Meanwhile, in January this year, Ionic Rare Earths’ (IonicRE) subsidiary, Rwenzori Rare Metals, the owner of the Makuutu Heavy Rare Earth Project, received a large-scale mining licence for the central Makuutu tenement in Uganda.

This represents the first issuance of a large-scale mining licence in the country under the Mining Act of 2022.