Potential investors are rushing to explore Rwanda’s mining sector despite the challenge of the drop in prices of minerals on the international markets attributed to the global financial crisis.
Government concessions in Régie d’Exploitation et de Développement des Mines (REDEMI) have been taken by private operators and still more investors are coming for new concessions.
In the last three years about 17 companies with largely foreign interests have been registered to buy government concessions in REDEMI.
Recently cabinet approved China Xiamen Tungsten Corporation, Caracal Gold Rwanda and Kivu Gold Rwanda as some new companies interested in new concessions.
“We have too many potential investors knocking at the door, and the trend of the issuance of mining concessions has been positive which is an indication of confidence people have in the sector,” said the chairman of the mining task force Dr. Michael Biryabarema.
For sustainable mining, investors are guided in new areas of investment. According to Biryabarema some of the new areas of investment are industrial minerals like clays, sand, stones and value addition ventures.
Metals that were negatively affected by the global financial crisis include Tin (Sn) which dropped from $16,000 in January to $11,500 per tonne as of October 2008.
Tin had in 2007 controlled a high price on the international markets, registering an increase from $7,000 in 2006 to $15,000 per tonne because it was recognized as a green metal and could be used to replace other metals like lead in industrial processes.
Rwanda Geology and Mining Authority is responsible for carrying out research around the country to identify quantity of mineral resources in reserve, guide the small-scale miners to form cooperatives in order to strengthen their capacity to acquire mining techniques and conduct the regulatory work.