Mineral revenues set to increase by over 50%

Export earnings from minerals in the first three quarters of 2011 rose to US$109 million, surpassing last year’s total earnings of US$ 96.4 million. Statistics released by the relevant ministry indicate a successful year for the mineral sector where the government has heavily invested, especially in research.
A mineral processing facility in Gatumba. Mining revenues are this year expected to increase by over 50 percent.
A mineral processing facility in Gatumba. Mining revenues are this year expected to increase by over 50 percent.

Export earnings from minerals in the first three quarters of 2011 rose to US$109 million, surpassing last year’s total earnings of US$ 96.4 million.

Statistics released by the relevant ministry indicate a successful year for the mineral sector where the government has heavily invested, especially in research.

According to Michael Biryabarema, the Director General for Mines and Geology in the Ministry of Natural Resources (MINERA), the sector is on course to attain its target collection of US$150m this year.“The mineral sector gets competitive every year due to the entry of new players, particularly new investors, which has facilitated growth,” Biryabarema said in a phone interview with The New Times.

“Researchers discovered over 20 new mineral-rich sites across the country, which has boosted the industry further and made it lucrative.”Statistics from the ministry show that Cassiterite, Coltan and Wolframite still dominate Rwanda’s mining sector. Over 6.2 million kilograms of the minerals, especially those used in the manufacture of electric gadgets like mobile phone handsets and videogames, were exported to the West.

“The price for minerals this year was favourable, thus the good performance from the sector. The government is committed to progressively making investments each year so that the sector can improve and develop,” Biryabarema added.

A statement from the ministry says that various initiatives were introduced to improve the sector, while also protecting the environment through sustainable mining practices.

“The laws and procedures regarding mining must be adhered to by all players in the industry to protect the environment and the miners,” reads the statement.

ivan r. mugisha@newtimes.co.rw

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