Kagaba gold mine site receives hydro-electric power

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Artisanal and Small scale gold miners operating in Kassanda district are elated after getting connected to the national electricity grid.

The development at the Kagaba gold mine site located in Kamusenene Village, Kassanda district, is a remarkable milestone given their recent past.

The site, that has been active for the last two years, has at least 2500 artisanal miners operating under a location license. The ASMs  are some of over 60,000 that were evicted from the mines in August 2017.

Following their negotiated and organised return to the mines, the miners have now received hydroelectricity after they pooled resources together and paid for the connection as well as the meter.

The power will greatly cut production costs for the miners at the site as fuel to power generators to run activities at the site was by far their biggest expenditure.

According to Emmanuel Kibirige, one of the leaders at the mine site, they consumed twenty, twenty-litre jerrycans of fuel daily, with each litre at six thousand five hundred shillings (UGX6,500), which brought it to two million, six hundred thousand shillings (UGX 2,600,000) per day.

With the hydroelectricity connection, they hope to cut costs by about 75% from an estimated ten to twelve million (UGX 10,000,000 to 12,000,000) per month from seventy-eight million (UGX 78,000,000) a month.

He says they hope to extend the connection to the processing centres which consume one and a half jerrycans of fuel per ball mill, for thirty-five (35) ball mills.

The estimated cost to power each ball mill is one hundred and eighty-five thousand shillings (UGX 185,000) bringing the cost to six million four hundred seventy-five thousand shillings (UGX 6,475,000) per day for all 35 ball mills.

Kibirige further points out that even the ore that had been previously thrown away or abandoned due to high processing costs will be crushed and provide miners with additional profits.

“Some of the ore had been ignored because we were spending a lot. For example, you cannot spend UGX300, 000 to receive UGX200, 000. It doesn’t make economic sense.”

He points out that the development will contribute a great deal to reducing pollution of the environment which was extremely high due to the great amounts of fuel utilised at the site.

The recent escalating fuel prices have no doubt become a major challenge for ASMs operating around the country.



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