Posted on :Thursday , 9th November 2017
Rwanda will soon begin exporting refined tantalum products around the globe in the coming 12 months, following a huge deal to build a $16 million manufacturing plant in the country.
Rwanda produces 50 percent of the global supply of tantalum and remains the biggest exporter of the product.
PLG Plc, a Malta-based company dealing in integrated metallic science materials with operations in Europe has recently signed off on a deal with Rwanda to build a new plant in the country.
The deal was signed by the company, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.
Ray Power – Chief Executive Officer of the PLG Plc said: “The plant guarantees the highest standards of conflict-free traceability and environmental management.”
The plant will initially have a production capacity of 10 metric tons monthly, which will then rise to 60 metric tons a month later, according to CEO of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board, Francis Gatare.
The plant will also employ a new processing technology. This technology will be environmentally friendly, low cost and energy efficient to produce metallurgical grade Niobium oxide and Tantalum powder.
“We have been getting only 30% of the tantalum during exploration due to poor technology. The remaining 70% is wasted through the process. With this new plant, we will save the remaining 70% that is wasted through the process,” said Gatare.
“The Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas board is happy to have achieved this goal after spending several months in talks with PRG’s team,” he added.
In the next 12 months, Rwanda could be the main supplier.
“After a lot of international consultation and consideration, Rwanda is satisfied that this is a wise commercial pursuit and an important step in signaling to the metals industry that the country’s mining sector is entering an exciting new phase capable of supporting wholesale investment,” said Ray Power.
Rwanda’s target is to earn $500 million from mineral exports next year up from $203.2 million in 2014 and create over 600,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, the new tantalum plant will be located in the newly established industrial park in Bugesera-Eastern Province while its mining sites will be based in Gatumba – Ngororero district, Western Province.