Rwanda begins issuing ICGLR Mineral Export Certificates

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Rwanda begins issuing ICGLR Mineral Export Certificates

Mining is steadily becoming one of Rwanda’s top foreign exchange earners

As the mining sector steadily becomes one of Rwanda’s biggest foreign exchange earners, the government has now issued the first International Conference of the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) Mineral Export Certificate.

This development is expected to make the already flourishing sector which is estimated to have fetched about $136.6m (approximately Rwf86.7b) in 2012 work even better. The government targets $407m (approximately Rwf268.6b) from mineral exports by 2017. Currently mining comes second to tourism in foreign exchange earnings.

Announcing the issuance of the first certificate at Rutongo Mines limited in Rulindo District Today, State Minister in charge of Mining, Evode Imena, said that it is Rwanda’s national goal to develop an industry that is modern, efficient and responsive to global mineral markets.

Imena says that Rwanda participated in the designing of the ICGLR Regional Mineral Certification Mechanism and integrated it into its legal framework in April 2012. “We have put in place all requirement expected of member states, to implement the ICGLR Regional Certification Mechanism,” said Minister Imena.

According to a government statement an Analytical Finger Printing (AFP) database from about 300 mine sites in the county is now available and will be used by the Independent Mineral Chain Auditor when the procedure becomes operational.

The ICGLR mineral tracking and certification scheme was established to find a solution to the problem of illicit trade in Tungsten, Tin, Tantalum and Gold.

Though Illegal mining is very limited in Rwanda, some thieves try to sell minerals from mines for which they don’t have licences. However, on several occasions, the collaboration of security forces has seen most of the illegally-mined minerals seized and handed back to the rightful miners.

The new ICGLR mineral tracking and certification scheme is expected to provide for sustainable conflict- free mineral chains in and between member states of the international conference on the great lakes.

It will also promote the mineral sector by establishing common regional standards for transparency working conditions, environmental performance and community consultation.

A certificate accompanies each exported shipment of designated minerals that has been certified. The ICGLR certificate serves as the assurance to purchasers that a mineral shipment is conflict free and meets all other ICGLR standards.

Member states must examine each export of designated material including all the supporting documentation concerning chain of custody and mine of origin before issuing a certificate.

In Rwanda mining sector includes 548 mine sites with cassiterite (tin ore), wolframite (tungsten ore) and coltan (tantalum ore) the most important minerals mined and traded in Rwanda.

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Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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