Agrominerals in Uganda
Uganda’s rising population is putting increasing pressure on farming and traditional shifting cultivation is becoming ever more impractical. Soil nutrients are fast becoming depleted and crop productivity is falling, especially in the smallholder farms which account for most food production. Despite this, Uganda is currently one of the lowest ten countries worldwide for fertiliser usage per hectare of cultivated land.
Namekara Mining Company Limited (NMCL) holds mining and exploration licences over the Bukusu Complex, a carbonatite complex near Mount Elgon close to the Uganda/Kenya border. The Complex contains several agromineral commodities: vermiculite, already in production, which can be made into a horticultural growth medium or soil improver; primary and residual phosphate rock, which was mined as fertiliser raw material in the 1950s; carbonatite suitable for agricultural lime; and the central agglomerate of the complex which is rich in potash and may be suitable for direct application
Equator is working with NMCL to develop and market agromineral products.
IGS (International Geoscience Services) Ltd
IGS is a commercial spin-out from the UK government’s British Geological Survey, which undertakes work for the World Bank and overseas governments. Equator Gold provides management and commercial consulting services to IGS.
Belgian company Walzinc sprl is prospecting for zinc and other metals in historical zinc mining areas in Belgium and Portugal. Many undeveloped resources remain in such areas and few of them have been systematically explored using modern techniques and current models of mineralisation. The known resources in the two projects, when promoted to JORC standards, will probably amount to at least 5Mt at approximately 12% Zn and 2% Pb, and both projects have a good deal of exploration upside. The Equator Group holds a small equity interest in Walzinc and provides geoscience mapping services.
Equator was originally founded to undertake exploration in South Sudan, but after a successful initial programme, operations were made difficult and then impossible by the civil conflict which broke out in 2013 and escalated in 2016. Equator made a force majeure declaration in late 2016, after its compound was destroyed. When Equator tried to resume work in 2021, a dispute arose with the Ministry of Mining over the interpretation of the Mining (Mineral Titles) Regulations regarding force majeure, and the exploration licences were revoked. Efforts to reverse this decision were unsuccessful and Equator withdrew from South Sudan in late 2022.