Gov’t, mining fraternity move to improve sector

The government and the mining fraternity have come up with a set of resolutions to counter the bottlenecks such as illegal mining and environment degradation that are still persistent in the sector.
A miner working at a cassiterite processing plant in Northern Province. The New Times / Courtesy.
A miner working at a cassiterite processing plant in Northern Province. The New Times / Courtesy.

The government and the mining fraternity have come up with a set of resolutions to counter the bottlenecks such as illegal mining and environment degradation that are still persistent in the sector.

“Investigations are ongoing and those found involved in illegal mining or stealing minerals will be prosecuted or even risk having their contracts terminated,” said Evode Imena, the Minister of State for Mining.

He was addressing a meeting of investors in the mining sector and government officials to prescribe measures against challenges that still exist in the sector.

After presenting their frustrations, including lack of tax exemptions and lack of funding, Imena told the meeting that the government considered waiving taxes on imported mining machinery and equipment, adding that an exercise to equip local miners with relevant skills was on going.

To address the challenge of funding, the minister of trade and industry, Francois Kanimba told the miners that: “We are initiating dialogue with several financial institutions to ascertain whether funding can be availed.”

Other challenges presented raged from abuse of mining licenses, high cost of mining, vulnerability of the metal market ( low prices globally), illegal tagging of minerals, lack of  tax exemptions for capital goods and theft of minerals awaiting export from customs bond ware houses at port to Dares-salaam, in Tanzania, and  insufficient funding.

Kanimba said that the government was working with regional governments, to enhance safety and security of its minerals while on transit for export. Rwanda’s revenues from mineral exports are set to triple, according to government projections, from US$136.6 million (over Rwf87 billion), in 2012, to US$409 million (about Rwf261 billion), by 2017.

 

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