Tin prices soar, Rwanda cashes in

Cassiterite, a metal tin is processed registered a sharp price increase on the world market, as of April this year.

Cassiterite, a metal tin is processed registered a sharp price increase on the world market, as of April this year.

The country earned $6.76m compared to $3.39m earned in 2006.
“Tin still commands a high price on international market.

Export earnings increased from $7,000 to $15,000 per tonne,” the chairman of the mining task force Michael Byabarema said.

But in general, earning from the mining sector improved hitting 83.2 per cent mark. Consequently, the country bagged a record $18.36m, more than $9.05m earned in 2006.

Besides, statistics from the mining task force indicates that earnings from coltan increased from $3.49m to $3.94m while wolfram rose from $2.27m to 7.66m.

“The strong performance in the mining sector has triggered the government to begin evaluating and exploiting the full potential of the sector,” Byabarema said.

Besides, the Rwanda mining association is wooing potential investors to improve on production and export of different minerals.Byabarema attributes the strong performance of the industry to value addition.

Plants that clean and separate minerals have been established in the country.

And now the country is now targeting smelting the minerals before exporting them.
“Our ores are highly considered on international markets. They don’t need too much cleaning,” Byabarema said.

Constraints
He said the sector is still challenged by lack of professionals and weak mining associations.

Most of the mining is still artisanal and not mechanised.  Miners still use traditional equipment, meaning it is on a small scale.

Miners still mine with out knowing the volume of the deposit.

Potential investors can not invest in a deposit without knowing its volume.
Currently the mining sector has about 170 associations; six are foreign while the rest are joint businesses.

Rwandans are majority share holders in these joint ventures.

To diversify exports, government intends to conduct industrial mining of clays, sand and stones.

These will be used in production of glasses, marble, granite, tiles, cups and bath taps.
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