Uganda seeks backer for nationwide geophysical survey

TIANJIN, China (Reuters) - Uganda is looking for external assistance with an aerial geophysical survey of its northeastern Karamoja region, the country’s mineral development minister Peter Lokeris told the China Mining conference in Tianjin on Sunday.

The cost of the work is estimated at $20 million, another ministry official said on sidelines of the conference, adding that China Geological Survey is one entity to have been approached.

Karamoja, which accounts for about 20 percent of landlocked Uganda’s territory, is thought to contain vast mineral reserves, including gold, copper, platinum and lead.

Violence in the region meant that Karamoja was not included in an earlier survey carried out from 2004 to 2012 with the help of World Bank funding. That survey mapped 80 percent of the country.

Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by David Goodman