Rwanda’s mining industry registered impressive growth in the first quarter of 2011 with revenues tripling to US$35.5m compared to the same period last year, occasioned by increased mining activities across the country.
The Minister of Forestry and Mines, Christophe Bazivamo, said in an interview yesterday, that increased production of Rwanda’s major mineral exports, which include castellite, tangsten and coltan, indicated that the country was on course to achieve its annual target revenues of US$100 million.
“Last year, we collected US$96 million from mineral exports; this year’s first quarter performance indicates that everything is heading in the right direction to improve revenue collection,” Bazivamo said.
He added that mining decrees passed in 2010 to govern and regulate the sector had readied and streamlined it against illegal mining practices which further boosted its performance.
“To prevent the importation of conflict minerals, minerals coming in must have required trade documents, certified and tagged by competent authorities,” Bazivamo said.
“A person or a company that wishes to trade in minerals within Rwanda must apply to the Ministry of Trade and industry, requesting for permission to trade, clearly specifying the type of minerals they will trade.”
He added that Rwanda leads the pack in implementing the mineral traceability and tagging project, which is a legislation imposed by the American government on DRC and her neighbours to prevent trade in conflict minerals.
“Although the deadline was April 1, 2011 we have not been affected by any embargos because we have shown great progress and are ahead of the pack,” he said, adding that, “We currently have over 85 percent of our minerals tagged and are on course to satisfy all international regulations.”
Current regulations articulate that mineral trading is only accepted in designated areas in Kigali City, Rusizi, Rubavu, Musanze, Nyagatare, Ngoma, Muhanga and Huye towns.
Traders must submit monthly reports of total purchases and sales, to relevant ministries and to the Rwanda Geology and Mines Authority (OGMR).
The regulations also state that fraudulent minerals impounded by the security services or the Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) will be handed to OGMR, which will issue a suitable certificate of receipt.