Rwanda is looking forward to raise about 45 million U.S. dollars from mining concessions with investors in the mining sector, says Evode Imena, Rwanda state minister for mining.
On Saturday six mining firms signed an agreement with the small central African nation exploit 10 mining concessions that will earn the country million of dollars in five years, as part of a privatisation drive.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Imena said that for Rwanda expects to produce 3,200 tonnes of mixed tantalum, tin and tungsten ores from the concessions, or around 30 percent of total production on annual basis for the next five years.
“Rwanda has various types of mineral deposits in which we look forward to working with companies to develop and enable more investments, as well as explore additional opportunities not yet discovered,” he said.
Imena noted that mining is the Rwanda’s second-biggest foreign income earner after tourism, with metallic ore coltan earning foreign exchange to the country.
“Mining contributes 1.5 percent of the country’s 7.9 billion U.S.dollars gross domestic product.”
Last year, total mineral export earnings dropped by almost 10 percent to 203.32 million U.S. dollars (about Rwf145.4 billion), from 225.7 million U.S. dollars (about Rwf161.4 billion) in 2013, mainly due to a drop in international prices.
“The mining sector is nowadays challenged by the fall of mineral prices on international markets,” Imena noted.
The just signed mining concessions are in the western part of Rwanda and will bring in investments of about 9 million U.S. dollars (about Rwf6.5 billion). Five of the companies awarded concessions are owned locally and one is Indian owned.
Since 2010 Rwanda is implementing a robust system of traceability and accountability for 3T minerals.
The country produces about 8,000 to 9,000 tonnes of mineral compounds annually, and ranks eighth in the world for non-molten tin, which translates into 1.5 percent of global tin production.
In 2011, Rwanda adopted a mineral tagging and sealing scheme, the iTSCi project that traces origins of all minerals. iTSCi is an international tin supply chain which aims at ensuring traceability of tin.
The 2013 U.S. geological survey report on commodity ranked Rwanda 4th producer of tantrum in the world.
The mining Industry comprises 800 mining sites with 754 license holders and 400 mining companies and cooperatives. Enditem