The Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB) has announced the Government’s ambition to fetch USD 1.5 billion by the last quarter of 2023 through mineral exports.
This will make an increment of 49.6%, of the total export earnings, from 32.9% realised annually since 2017.
In an interview with the Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA), the Chief Operating Officer of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board, Dr. Ivan Twagirashema said last year (2022), the country earned USD 772 million.
‘‘This year we have reached almost USD 250 million and if this trend continues well for the next three quarters, we expect to hit our target of USD 1.5 billion by the end of 2023,’’ said Twagirishema
Rwanda has over 95 mining companies and more are being established; mainly processing cassiterite, gold and coltan. So far 132 licenses have been given to these companies. Of those, 20 are large-scale mining licenses while 71 are medium-scale mining licenses. Small-scale mining licenses amount to 41, brining the total number of licenses issued to 132.
Latest statistics from the Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board indicate that in the first quarter of 2023 Rwanda exported over 5 million Kilogrammes of minerals, worth over USD 247 million.
Investors in the mining sector also concur with the idea that processing companies for Rwanda’s outstanding minerals including cassiterite, gold and coltan give hope that in the near future, the country will become a regional hub for mineral processing, exportation, which in turn will boost the country’s revenue.
Joseph Butare, one of the proprietors in the mining sector said in the first three months of 2023, they exported over 10 containers of tin metals from cassiterite, each weighing 25 tonnes and meeting international standards, each worth over USD 600,000.
Butare added, ‘’We believe that newly established companies boost production and hope that they will at least triple our export price. As the same companies speed up their services, we strive to meet our target or working more closer to it.’’
According to Jean Malic Kalima, Chairman of the Rwanda Mining Association there is a need to have a common market in Rwanda, which brings together different countries, like other foreign countries including Dubai and Belgium do.
‘‘We look forward to offering good services in mineral processing, instead of reserving it for external markets. There is also a need to further purify minerals like coltan, to avoid exporting half processed products, which are even bulky and costly in transportation,’’ said Kalima.
Employees in these processing companies also believe that the increased number of such companies relates to increased production, but also minding about safety and security at work.
‘‘Taking an example of the past, production was low, but with the upcoming of companies there is increased production, added value and this facilitates growth at a recommendable trend.’’, one employee said.
Companies processing minerals like gold, cassiterite and cotter increasing in number are expected to enable the realisation of the desired income from mineral exports.