RWANDA LOOKS TO TECHNOLOGY TO BOOST TRANSPARENCY AND PRODUCTION IN MINING

Posted on :Friday , 26th April 2019

Being among the fastest growing economies in Africa, Rwanda has a great opportunity of using its mineral resources to drive its industrialization, diversification and overall economic transformation. Rwanda is looking for more investors in the mining industry to boost the country's mineral exports and increase revenues from mineral resources, said the head of the state mining development body, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), Francis Gatare.

Different investment opportunities including mineral exploration, mining, value addition and industrial training are provided by Rwanda mining sector, said Mr. Gatare. By 2020 the African country aims to generate 800 million U.S. dollars and by 2024, 1.5 billion dollars from mineral export revenues, he added.

In the tantalum and niobium industry supply chain from over 25 countries across the world the three-day meeting attracted more than 150 experts.The annual general assembly will highlight technical sessions, site seeing tours in Rwanda and a visit to a working artisanal tantalite mine. Affecting in tantalum and niobium technological development and consumption the meeting will explore a wide range of issues.

Producing more than 60 percent of the needed quantity onto the global market Rwanda is among top producers of tantalum ore, according to RMB. In Rwanda, Tantalum production according to the board, is expected to exceed 2,500 tons in 2018. The board said, Over 2,000 tons of tantalum ore were produced and exported for the period of July 2017 to June 2018.

The East African country has shown a notable growth in the tracking service provider industry in a move to better protect Rwanda’s mining competitiveness amid a global slump. 

The use of technology to conduct more research in the industry to stimulate investment in minerals as well as making use of the growth opportunity is extremely important. Better Sourcing is one of the companies that are making use of these opportunities.

Better Sourcing is currently focused on the three Ts (tin, tungsten and tantalum ) a sector that is very important for the Rwandan economy. This sector is a promising one for Rwanda but it is being characterized unfortunately by reluctantly low levels of investment and neighboring countries are also plagued by this situation such as the DRC where they also operate, said Benjamin Clair, Director at Better Sourcing.

Working as a service provider to small scale Rwandan mining operators the company is trying to bring a little bit of innovation to this sector so that the local companies can access international markets for minerals on favorable terms. 

Better Sourcing has been lobbying to make the country’s mining more transparent through modern traceability systems and government communication. To ensure that no smuggling or supply chain contamination happens it is important to bring the major cgaps and issues at the mine sites is under control. International brands and buyers do not want to be associated with negativity and illegality in mining. To reassure international partners that the situation at this mine site is well controlled the company works in collaboration with the government while also deploying field agents with a mobile device who are tasked with collecting ongoing information from the mine sites. The monitoring data can be transferred via a Global System for Mobile communication network, a digital mobile telephony system or through the 3G network .

All the data collected at the mine site is reconciled with all the data collected at the export point. Mr. Clair explains that it does not mean that no one will try and beat the system but it gives operators and the Rwandan government tools to find the issues quickly and respond respectively.

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