President Museveni launches first ever tin smelting refinery in Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni on Friday launched the first ever tin smelting refinery in the country, with a target of processing the mineral at close to 100% concentrate.

The plant located in the western city of Mbarara is owned by WoodCross Resources, a company which owns and develops multiple mining assets and produces LME Grade Tin at its refinery in South-Western Uganda.

While launching the refinery, Museveni said: “We are continuing in the right direction towards tackling the problem of ababaagyi (squanderers) of African wealth, abashema (uninformed) and traitors.”

“This is part of the National Resistance Movement’s (NRM) 5th point in the 10-point program; building a horizontally and vertically integrated economy, away from the inherited shame, betrayal, and economic haemorrhage of exporting raw materials and importing finished goods,” the president added.

“Therefore, I congratulate Woodcross Resources for allowing me to witness a new victory of liberating Africa from slavery and thank all the partners in the different sectors of agriculture, energy, etc., who are contributing to this industrious effort,” he said.

Phiona Nyamutoro, the state minister for energy in charge of mineral resources, said the first TIN smelting company in Uganda would process pure TIN at 99.95% concentrate surpassing the international standards of 99.85%.

“This value addition will make Uganda earn three times more than it has been earning from exporting the raw material from the lsingiro and Ntungamo mines,” the minister said.

“We are not just creating more jobs for the youth by pushing for national content but also getting them involved in the Mineral value chain for beneficial growth of the economy,” she added.

According to Nyamutoro, “The establishment of this facility marks a significant milestone and serves as a clarion call to the youth of our nation. It underscores the importance of equipping ourselves with the necessary skills and knowledge to actively participate in the mineral sector.”

She thanked WoodCross for choosing Uganda as an investment destination, adding: “Your commitment to the development of the mineral industry through value addition is commendable.”

WoodCross stated that tin is a vital metal that plays a crucial role in various industries, making it an attractive commodity. The company says it has a tin mining licence covering 40 square km (15 sq miles) in western Uganda and its tin refining plant has annual capacity of more than 1,000 tonnes.

Facts about TIN, according to WoodCross

  • Global Demand: The demand for tin continues to rise with technological advancements as well as applications in global energy transition and green technologies.
  • Technology Essential: Tin is essential in electronics manufacturing, used in smartphones, tablets, and other devices due to its excellent soldering properties.
  • Energy Efficiency: Tin is used in solar panels and energy storage devices, contributing to energy-saving technologies and the growth of renewable energy systems.
  • Corrosion Resistance: With exceptional corrosion resistance, tin is preferred for coating steel cans and has applications in automotive, construction, and aerospace industries.
  • Sustainability: Tin is highly sustainable and recyclable, reducing the environmental impact associated with its extraction and promoting a circular economy.
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