New data-driven portal aims to encourage mineral exploration in Uganda  

The Mbarara region, Uganda. (Image by neiljs, Flickr).

An international consortium launched this week, the Uganda Geoscience Data Portal, is part of the African Resource Geoscience Initiative and aims to improve the geoscience understanding of the Jinja and Mbarara regions in Uganda.

The website makes geoscience data freely available and the idea is that it encourages investment in the African country. 

The project was enabled through a public-private partnership between government, industry and commercial organizations under the auspices of the African Union Commission 

“The primary aim is to encourage mineral exploration and support better early-stage decision making,” the creators said in a media statement.

The focus on Jinja, which is an area within the greenstone belt to the east of Kampala, is because the land there is prospective for gold, base metals, phosphates, rare earth elements and vermiculite. The Mbarara region, on the other hand, is located southwest of Kampala and has potential for gold and base metals including copper, lead, nickel and zinc.

In the view of the creators, besides mineral exploration, the data resources on the website could also benefit environmental and land-use planning, water resource management and sustainable energy development such as geothermal.

The Uganda pilot project is a collaborative initiative between the African Union Commission, Geosoft Inc., the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program, the British Geological Survey, the Uganda Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines and the Ugandan Chamber of Mines and Petroleum. The portal is cloud-hosted by The National Information and Technology Authority – Uganda.

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