Rwanda’s mineral export earnings hit record high in 2023, surpassing $1 billion

On 15 February 2024 at 10:53

In a remarkable year for Rwanda’s mining sector, the country’s mineral export earnings have soared to unprecedented heights, breaking the $1 billion mark for the first time. Official reports confirm that Rwanda’s mineral exports in 2023 reached over $1.1 billion, a substantial increase from the previous year’s $772 million, illustrating a significant growth rate of 43%.

The Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB) has credited this impressive performance to a series of strategic measures, including increased value addition, heightened professionalization, and substantial investment in the mechanization of mining practices. These steps not only underscore Rwanda’s commitment to sustainable mining but also reflect the industry’s potential as a cornerstone for the nation’s economic growth.

The surge in earnings is particularly noticeable in the fourth quarter of 2023, where mineral export earnings were reported at $252.99 million. This figure represents a 34.9% increase from the corresponding quarter in 2022, signaling a robust end to the year.

An analysis of the export figures reveals that cassiterite was a top earner for the country, with October 2023 exports reaching 431,035 kilograms valued at USD 6,487,192. November saw a slight dip in both volume and value, but December bounced back with 446,342 kilograms worth USD 6,923,495.

Coltan, another significant mineral in Rwanda’s export portfolio, also showed a strong performance, particularly in October, with exports of 159,297 kilograms bringing in USD 6,907,161. Wolfram followed suit, contributing significantly to the total earnings with 182,099 kilograms worth USD 2,293,588 in October alone.

Gold, a perennially valuable resource, did not disappoint, with its highest earning month in December, where 1320 kilograms of gold were worth a staggering USD 87,521,667. This reflects both the global market’s unwavering demand for gold and Rwanda’s capability to meet it.

Other minerals collectively added over a million kilograms to the export tally each month, with earnings peaking in November at USD 1,720,701 for 1,725,993 kilograms.

The data from 2023 is a testament to Rwanda’s growing prominence in the mineral export market and serves as a beacon of progress for other nations looking to harness their natural resources sustainably. With the strategic implementation of responsible mining practices, Rwanda is not only securing substantial revenue but is also setting a precedent for environmental stewardship in the mining industry.

Rwanda's mineral export earnings have soared to unprecedented heights, breaking the $1 billion mark for the first time.