•Project to remove doubt on mineral wealth launched
Rwanda will soon certify her minerals. This was revealed Friday at the launch of a joint project between the Rwanda Geology and Mines Authority (OGMR) with the German Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) at Prime Holdings.
The meeting was centred on having stakeholders in the mining fraternity collectively devise criteria for the selection of mineral certification strategies and put together a pool of ideas prudent for upgrading the mining sector in Rwanda.
The Minister of State in charge of Minerals and Natural resources, Vincent Karega, commended the move. He cited building confidence among partners and ethics promotion as some of the benefits which are expected to accrue from this undertaking.
“We need to create more confidence in our partners about the availability of minerals in Rwanda highlighting their origin; this will clear the air about the on going contest on whether we have minerals or not,” highlighted Karega
He further pointed that the course of events so far is good, revealing that the government is engaged in activities geared at supporting the mining sector through attracting investors, upgrading the capacity for the mining sector.
During his opening speech, the Director General of OGMR Dr Michael Biryabarema pointed out that this pilot project is aimed at certifying minerals in Rwanda, setting principles and standards to guide the mining sector as well as demystifying the long contested availability of mineral resources in Rwanda.
Biryabarema further underscored how important this joint program is, pointing out that it will greatly foster transparency, ethics and professionalism in the mining sector.
He added that the overall goal of the certification process is to put in place mining standards and practices which are recognised and accepted on the international scale.
The framework in which these minerals are certified is called Certified Trading Chains (CTC) and it is in this model that this pilot project is mapped.
This model was introduced to create a situation where mineral resources are legally produced and traded in a transparent fashion to reduce conflicts associated with the mining sector.
During an interview with the head of the mining economy and mining environment sections at BGR, Dr Gudrun Franken, she expressed optimism about the process.
She said that she has noticed that Rwanda has many high value minerals and after the certification, a lot will change for the positive.
For a long time, there have been speculations mostly in the western world that Rwanda doesn’t have mineral resources.
They have instead been linking the ones the country exports to the conflicts in the great lakes region.
On this note Karega cleared the air that Rwanda has plenty of mineral wealth such as Casseterites or Tin, Wolfram, Gold and others all of great value and that we only lack capacity to extract most of them.
Last year alone the mining sector fetched the economy close to USD100 and according to reports, signs are high that it will improve more so after full enactment of the mining policy.