Statistics show that gold contributed $0.3 million (Rwf170 million) to the mineral revenues in 2007 compared to $1million (Rwf568 million) last year.
The Ministry of Natural Resources has said that the intensive search for gold is still ongoing countrywide, in a bid to increase minerals export receipts.
“Companies with exploration permits are still searching for gold depots. The soil samples are positive with high gold value and hopefully depots will be found soon,” Vincent Karega, State Minister for Natural Resource and Environment said in an interview.
Gold, of recent has become one of the country’s increasing treasures that supplements minerals revenue, following indications of its abundant presence in various parts of the country such as Karongi Gicumbi and Kirehe.
According to statistics, gold contributed $0.3 million (Rwf170 million) to the mineral revenues in 2007 compared to $1million (Rwf568 million) last year.
Minerals were expected to generate about $100 million (Rwf56.8 billion) this year, slightly above the 2007 earnings of $95 million (Rwf53.96 billion). However due to the biting global economic crisis, the Ministry projects about $60 million (Rwf34.1 billion).
Rwanda’s mineral exports comprise of Cassiterite (SnO2), Wolfram (FeMnWO3), Coltan and gold of recent.
These generated $70.6 million (Rwf40.1billion) in 2007, representing 40 percent of the total national exports revenues of $71.4 million (Rwf40.6 billion).
Surveys indicated that the biggest part of Rwanda lies under the Kibaran Belt Rocks, well known for minerals.
The rocks extending from Northern Tanzania, through South Western Uganda, underlay almost the whole of Rwanda and Burundi, then through South Eastern DR Congo up to Angola.
In efforts to increase effectiveness in the sector, Karega said that government is promoting value addition and organisation of small miners into registered cooperatives.
“We are also undergoing a policy review to properly cover issues such as safety, environmental standards among others.”
Official information indicates that there are several companies permitted to explore gold across Rwanda. Some of these include Kivu Gold, a Canadian company, Rogi Mining from Russia and TransAfrika Resources.
Officials of TransAfrika, an international exploration company said that they acquired more resources to explore gold exploration in Gicumbi and Rusizi.
The company operates under two permits for exploring gold and nickel covering a total area of approximately 970.9 square kilometres.