GICUMBI - TransAfrika Resources Ltd has expressed interest in mining gold deposits in Gicumbi District.
TransAfrika is a multinational mining, exploration and development company with highly prospective exploration projects that mainly focuses on gold mining among other minerals.
While touring mineral sites in Rutare, Gicumbi District on Tuesday, Roeland Van Kerckhouen, the chief executive of the company, said they were encouraged by the gold deposits after the initial exploratory drilling.
He was accompanied by the Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi.
“We have developed confidence in the gold so far drilled as positive results have been realised. Now the next step is to determine its economic potential,” Kerckhouen said in an interview.
The company has, so far, drilled 265,000 ounces of confirmed gold which is equivalent to 7,950,000 grams of gold. An ounce is equivalent to 30 grams.
According to the company officials, each ounce costs US$1,600 (about Rwf1 million).
“We want to develop gold mining sector in Rwanda because it has potential of producing the grade one quality. There is a lot more of it,” Kerckhouen added.
TransAfrika Resources limited targets to drill one million ounces in the next two years.
Gold in Gicumbi is drilled at a depth of 60-100 metres. The core gold is taken to South Africa for further tests.
TransAfrika was awarded a four-year deal in 2007.
The company has two exploration permits in the country covering approximately 970.9 square kilometres, according to its website.
Minister Kamanzi, said the ministry has been impressed with what the the company had done so far.
“It has helped us establish the precious resources we have in our country. Mining is significant in the export earnings and investment in gold mining will boost the mining sector,” Kamanzi said.
The Minister urged the miners to seek ways of minimising environmental degradation.
Some of the residents, who spoke to The New Times, said they have gained a lot from the exploration.
“We are very happy to have gold in our village; it’s an incredible development in our country,” said Jean Pierre Imaniragaba, an area resident, adding that the wages he gets from the operation have improved his standard of living.
TransAfrika currently operates in seven countries across the continent namely; Mauritania, Mali, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Senegal.