Cassiterite, coltan boost mineral export volume

Rwanda’s mineral export volume in the 3rd quarter of 2009 registered an upward trend compared to the same period last year, but export receipts declined on account of low prices on the international market, the Ministry of Natural Resources (Minirena) has said.
Vincent Karega, State Minister in charge of Natural Resources and Mines
Vincent Karega, State Minister in charge of Natural Resources and Mines

Rwanda’s mineral export volume in the 3rd quarter of 2009 registered an upward trend compared to the same period last year, but export receipts declined on account of low prices on the international market, the Ministry of Natural Resources (Minirena) has said.

The latest quarterly report by Minirena shows that cassiterite exports in volume terms increased by 14 percent to 374,880 kilograms from July to September compared to 366,660 kilogram exported in the same period of 2008.

In the period under study, coltan exports rose by 4 percent from 82,766 Kilograms to 95,944 kilograms.

“This is due to the investiments that continue to grow – more companies, more equipments and more interest by investors in Rwanda because of its enhanced ‘doing business’ environment,” Vincent Karega, State Minister in charge of Mines told Business Times yesterday.

However in the two respective periods, foreign exchange revenue from cassiterite dropped from $3.8 (Rwf2.1b) to $2.6 (Rwf1.5b). Export receipts from coltan also declined from $1.6m (Rwf891m) to $1.5m (Rwf828) in the same period.

The report shows that wolfram exports reduced, mainly due to the very low persistent prices related to the world financial crisis. 

The minister said that Rwanda has established mineral deposits in all provinces.

According to Karega, Rwanda’s mining sector is promising with better projections for next year’s exports in both volume and value.

“Next year will be good because we expect prices on the world market to grow – and we have privatized all mines now. Investors will be much more productive,” he explained.

The report said that value addition or smelting projects are under discussions with investors interested in tin smelting, wolfram and coltan processing, stone cutting as well as gold processing. The move is expected to boost wealth creation and reduce economic dependency.

Rwanda has over 108 small and medium mines and exports her minerals to the US, Europe and Russia.

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