Evode Imena (2nd right), the state minister in charge of mining addresses investors during the contract signing ceremony yesterday. (Faustin Niyigena)
The contracts, signed between the Ministry of Natural Resources, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the investors, are aimed at bolstering exports by at least 28 per cent, Evode Imena, the state minister in charge of mining, said.
RDB granted four mining companies with licences to take charge of six mining blocks in Ngororero District, Western Province.
The companies include; Ngororero Mining Company Limited who will take charge of Nyamisa and Nyabisindu blocks, KNM Combines Ltd for Bijyojyo mining block, Daba Supplies Limited was given Ndago and Nyabitare mining blocks, while SEAVMC Ltd will exploit Gasovu.
The total investment, according to the minister, is estimated at almost $38million (about Rwf28bn) for the next five years.
“Under the agreement, investors are required to continue exploration works, develop world class infrastructural facilities and oblige to their social corporate responsibilities,” Imena said.
They will have to adhere to the environmental protection procedures as stipulated by the national mining policy guideline, he added.
Francis Gatare, the chief executive officer of RDB, said attracting private investors into the mining sector remains the government’s top priority as a way of boosting foreign revenues.
He urged investors to embrace private equity as a main source of finance for long-term returns
“We are encouraging investors to diversify their sources of credit and want to continue attracting more investment and development banks as the main source of long-term credit to bolster our economic development,” Gatare noted.
This will help make the mining sector more competitive and boost the country’s external trade, he added.
Early this year, six more private mining companies were given the green light to manage Gatumba Mining Concession.
The companies are expected to invest Rwf6.5 billion in the next five years to extract 3,300 tonnes of mixed tantalum, tin and tungsten ores from 10 blocks of the former Gatumba Mining Concession in Ngororero and Muhanga Districts.
Miners commit to adhere to standards
The miners pledged to adhere to standards and value addition to meet their targets.
Abdul Gaffar Khan, the managing director of KNM combines Ltd, said meeting targets will require sector players to embrace modern technology to become more competitive on the global markets.
For the first half of 2015, Rwanda exported 4,500 tonnes of tin, tantalum and tungsten that generated $8.2 million.
The sector is targeting to fetch at least $250 million by the end of this year despite turbulence in global prices for major minerals.
And as part of the strategy to achieve these targets government has already, approved 29 mineral and quarry licenses under the new ministerial guidelines to help boost the sector.
PETERSON TUMWEBAZE, The New Times