As a result of a global slump in the mineral prices due to a fall in demand on the global market, revenues from Rwanda’s minerals are expected to drop by 36 percent, officials say.
They are expected to earn $ 60 million this year compared to $ 94 million that went into government coffers in 2008.
“The projected fall in this year’s mineral earnings is as a result of a drop in demand and prices on the global market, which have their roots the global economic crisis,” said Michael Baryamureba, the Director General of the Office of Geology and Mines.
He was speaking to the press to highlight the current state of the mining sector ahead of the December 5 commemoration of International Day for Mining.
“In the past two years, the mining industry here experienced windfall prices where the earnings came out to be far higher than the projections, so this reduction could be related to a condition where prices are returning to their normal state,” he said.
In 2007 the mining industry had projected to fetch $54 million but it earned $71 million and in 2008 the projection was $ 63 million but the actual earnings turned out to be $94 million.
“There isn’t anything drastically bad happening in the mining industry, it’s just that the earnings in the past few years had shot up abnormally,” added Baryamureba.
This year, tin sold more than other minerals and there has been a considerable stability in its price which is said to be around $15,000 a tonne.
In an interview with The New Times, the Minister of State for Environment and Mines, Vincent Karega, pointed out that the mining sector expects more significant growth, especially with the influx of investors, both foreign and local, who have already injected capital in research, expropriation and actual mining.
“We expect greater potential in the mining sector in the coming years. What we are focusing on now is empowering our local miners with the required capacities and facilitation to mine professionally and productively for the greater benefit of all parties involved” he said