Rwanda is producing more minerals than any country in the Great Lakes Region, says a global not-for-profit agency that has been dealing with the traceability, tracking and due diligence of the so called “conflict minerals.”
According to the report by iTSCi program, Rwanda had by May 2015, produced 840 metric tons of minerals from its 815 mining sites.
The iTSCi is an initiative that assists upstream companies to institute the actions, structures, and processes necessary to conform to the globally instituted standards to control minerals from conflict areas.
In comparison, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) produced 826 metric tons from 471 mining sites, 26 less than Rwanda.
Of the 815 mining sites in Rwanda, the report says 442 sites are active while neighboring DRC known for vast mineral wealth has only 365 active mining sites.
The report indicates that in May 2014, Rwanda also produced 990 metric tons of minerals higher than total production from DRC valued at 778 metric tons from its mining sites across the country and that Burundi produced 32 metric tons of minerals by May 2015 compared to 25 metric tons produced during same period in 2014.
“The 2007 reforms in the mining sector and conducive environment have attracted more investors. We have more private capital and improved mining and processing methods,” Evode Imena, State Minister in Charge of Mining told KT Press.
This year alone, two new mining companies have already established in Rwanda including Piran Resources Ltd, injecting $22million and Mawarid Mining Company from Oman, currently signing a deal with the government.
Imena said Rwanda intends to triple its mining production capacities in the next four years, despite the current challenges of falling global prices.
Rwanda introduced a Minerals Traceability Program where all its minerals get tagged from the mining sites until their final destination.
“Rwanda has fulfilled all the requirements,” Mr. Imena said adding; Rwanda was the first country in the Great Lakes region to commit to large-scale implementation of iTSCi in 2011.
iTSCi has been in development since 2008 and was first piloted in south Kivu. The program uses uniquely numbered tags that allow companies to confirm the actual source and trading chain of the minerals they purchase.