Rwanda’s mining sector is starting to make a comeback, and is poised for even bigger gains in the years ahead. That, at least, is the way the optimists see it.
The country’s mining sector which had posted a positive outlook for the past years recorded a sluggish growth in 2015 after a fall in prices on the international market mainly China, which buys almost 40 percent of the World’s minerals.
The decline in the sector’s performance by 42.1 percent, according to Central Bank affected the country’s export earnings forcing the trade deficit to widen further by 6.7 percent by the end of December, 2015.
But the Minister of Natural resources Dr Vicent Biruta says the sector is likely to get back to its feet banking on the strategies already in place to bolster the sector which after tourism is the country’s foreign exchange earner.
“The industry is transforming from artisanal-mining dominated industry to a well-planned professional and mechanized industry,” he said.
According to Central bank, mineral exports declined both in value and volume by 42.1 percent and 30.5 percent respectively which was triggered by a fall in international metal prices by 21.1 percent in 2015.
Statistics indicate cassiterite’s unit price declined by 26.3 percent, while unit price coltan fell by 11.9 percent and wolfram fell by 19.1 percent in unit price in 2015.
Michal Kotzé, mining Industry Leader for Price Water Coopers-PwC says that although the industry faced a slowdown that affected most of the countries, there is still optimism for the sector recovery.
“Last year was undoubtedly challenging for the mining sector. But this is a hardy industry, and while many miners may be down they are certainly not out,” he said in a report released on Tuesday.
The report showed a first ever collective net loss of U $27bn for the top 40 miners with market capitalisation falling by 37 percent.