The local mining industry could in coming weeks receive expressions of interest from new investors from the continent and beyond as firms seek to join the local value chain.
With Kigali set to host the East and Central Africa Mining Forum later this month, a number of firms taking part have expressed interest in investing in the local mining eco-system.
Among the firms that have interest in investing or diversifying their investments in Rwanda is Luma Holding Ltd which is involved in smelting and refinery operations.
Radoslav Miskiewicz, the Chief Executive of Luma Holding Ltd and President of the Supervisory Board of LuNa Smelter in Rwanda said that Rwanda has unexplored mineral potential which present opportunities for investors.
“Rwanda is still considered as the country with unexplored minerals potential and I believe it can offer several interesting opportunities within 3T minerals, gemstones, gold and battery minerals. Our own exploration projects are our key concern, as our main goal is to develop the concessions into full working mines,” Miskiewicz said.
“The East African mining sector is truly underestimated by new investors, there is great potential, both in human and natural resources,” he added.
He noted that Rwanda is fast becoming a crucial player in the regional mining scene with the addition of refining and smelting facilities.
“Rwanda is definitely becoming a crucial player on the East African mining scene. With recently developed production facilities, such as gold refinery, tin smelter and upcoming tantalum refinery, its position as a regional minerals and metals hub is confirmed. I believe it is of a significant importance that countries in this region cooperate closely and conduct joint efforts leading towards development and production of the added value here in Africa,” he added.
TechMet Ltd, a UK based mining and mineral processing firm is also keen on playing a role in the local mining industry.
Brian Menell, Chairman and Chief Executive of the firm expressed commitment towards putting Rwanda and the region at the heart of world production for strategic materials
“We are committed to be part of this engagement in putting Rwanda and the region at the heart of world production for strategic materials such as technology metals that are essential building blocks of the energy and mobility revolution,” he said.
Ngali Mining Ltd which currently holds 4 concessions for gold and amethyst is also seeking to acquire more concessions according to the firm’s Managing Director Fabrice Kayihura.
“We own four concessions for gold and amethyst and plan to acquire more concessions for the 3Ts and gemstones,” he said.
Jean de Dieu Mutunzi, Executive Chairman, Aldango Ltd which is involved in Gold Refinery noted that they investment is also aimed in working with government to transform the country into a precious mineral and trading hub.
The summit will also deliberate on best practices in reliable and cost effect technologies and fast-tracking financial support.
Financial services for mining activities are a crucial subject in Rwanda and beyond as traditional financiers continue to exhibit hesitance in working with the sector owing to unexpected fluctuations of commodities in the international markets as well as cost of activities.
Rwanda Mines, Petroleum & Gas Board (RMB) Chief Executive Francis Gatare said that sharing experiences and insights in mining activities is critical as no single country has a monopoly on geological endowments
“Geology tends to be regional. There is no single country that has a monopoly on its own geological endowments; they tend to be regional and similar in many regards. This makes it important to share geological information across the region. It’s also very important for the country to share experiences and in turn start to see mineral resources as regional projects, especially when you begin to think about processing on a competitive level that would bring in economic returns,” he said.