According to a report from RMB, the period from 2017 to September 2023 witnessed a substantial surge in Rwanda’s mineral exports. In 2017, the country garnered US$373 million from mineral exports. Although revenues dipped to US$347 million in the subsequent year and further to US$314 million in 2019, there was a notable resurgence, reaching US$733 million in 2020.
The positive momentum continued with the country generating US$516 million in 2021, US$722 million in 2022, and registering US$852 million by September 2023. This impressive growth is attributed to proactive research that identified new mine reserves allocated to investors for exploration. Additionally, mining companies’ investments in mechanization have significantly contributed to enhanced productivity.
The mining sector has become a vital source of employment, with at least 70,000 individuals engaged, fostering individual growth and development in the surrounding areas. Notably, as of 2022, 22 women owned mining and exploration sites, and women constituted 24% of employees in mining explorations.
In the same year, taxes from mining activities contributed Rwf27.7 billion to the national coffer, with expectations of a further increase in 2023. RMB reports ongoing research at 52 mining sites across the country to identify types of minerals available in Rwanda and explore efficient utilization methods. Plans are underway to establish a laboratory to facilitate this research and streamline the issuance of mineral export licenses.
In collaboration with RMB and the Ministry of Infrastructure, efforts are being made to overhaul the sector. Power transmission lines are reaching mining sites, aiding sector players in acquiring updated equipment tailored to their operational needs. These initiatives reflect Rwanda’s commitment to fostering a sustainable and innovative mining industry for long-term economic growth.