A new bill currently in parliament is set to change the operations of the mining sector. It is expected that once passed into law, the bill will affect operations of mining companies and sector regulator , the Rwanda Geology and Mining Authority (OGMR).The bill stipulates that sector operators are expected to be charged a new tax system that runs through all mining activities, right from the preliminary stages of exploration to advanced levels of mining.
The new bill, if passed into law, will be a first of its kind in Rwanda after it was endorsed by cabinet earlier this month and is currently under further debate in parliament. Currently, mining companies are taxed like any other businesses through the declaration of profits and payment of income tax.
The Director General of OGMR, Michael Biryabarema, said that the new bill seeks to oversee a better implementation of existing regulations and environmental policies to modernise the sector and make it more lucrative.
“The new bill once passed into law will add value to the mining sector by attracting vibrant investors,” Biryabarema said.
“It will help to transform the sector by promoting transparency in the transaction of minerals in terms of both exports and imports.”
The Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi said that he expects the new bill to be passed by parliament to pave way for its enactment into law by the end of August this year.
“When the law is fully adapted, it will help to close the gaps which exist in the mining industry thereby enabling the government to benefit fully from revenue collected from mining activities,” Kamanzi said yesterday in an interview.
“It also aims to promote the quality of mineral production and improve the livelihood of miners.”
Biryabarema added that mineral tagging and traceability scheme is successful and is almost complete with infrastructure in place.
He said that OGMR is ensuring that minerals from artisanal miners are tagged as well, although their activities are not well documented.