Survey on new mining sites commissioned
As of way of encouraging investment in the mining sector, the government has contracted Beak Consultants and the Council for Geosciences to carry out a geochemical survey on potential mining sites.
The areas under survey cover about 1,700 square kilometres in the Southern Province districts of Muhanga, Nyamagabe and Ruhango, the Northeastern edge of Nyagatare District, as well as Kirehe District in the East.
Although the survey is open and targets all kinds of minerals, the priority minerals include tin, lithium, tantalum, tungsten and rare earth metals such as nickel and platinum.
The Euros 2 million survey commenced late last year and the results are expected at the end of the year.
“We expect final results of the survey by December this year. This is a good strategy by the country to find new areas rich in metals as a way of attracting more investments in the sector,” Dr Michael Biryabarema, the Director General of the Geology and Mines Department in the Ministry of Natural Resources, said in an interview.
“This is a sector that has proved very profitable to the country, both in providing revenues and employment to the people. Therefore, all efforts to make it better will in the end benefit the development of the country,”.
So far, results from samples indicate that anomalies of minerals, predominantly in tin and tungsten exist in the surveyed areas, although “nothing is conclusive as of now”, as it was disclosed in a workshop yesterday between government officials and surveying team.
“We are using the latest and internationally recognised technology to carry out geochemical survey in these areas. We are hopeful that if there is something, probably an area rich in a specific mineral, we will definitely find it,” Dr Andreas Barth, the Managing Director of Beak Consultants, said.
The government is prioritizing the sector and is endeavouring to streamline its operations. Recently, it equipped some of its officials with necessary negotiation skills to assert its position on long term contracts with private investors in the mining sector.
Contact email: ivan.mugisha[at]newtimes.co.rw