What to know about Gasabo Gold Refinery

By Esther Muhozi
On 7 December 2023 at 07:40

Gasabo Gold Refinery, operational for the past four years with an investment exceeding Rwf5 billion, stands as one of Africa’s most well-equipped refineries. Originally established under the name Aldango Ltd in 2017, through a joint venture between a Rwandan company and a foreign investor, the refinery aimed to add value to gold, meeting all exportation requirements.

Initially beginning with a small-scale operation, processing only 5% of its capacity, the refinery, later renamed Aldango Ltd in 2019, has a processing capability of 480 kilograms every 30 hours, equivalent to 96 tons per year. The strategic objective was to process gold locally, preventing the export of unrefined gold and maximizing returns in the international market.

To ensure the highest quality, the refinery employs advanced technology, similar to that used in South African facilities. The meticulous process involves melting the stones, separating impurities, and returning the refined gold to customers, ensuring a purity level of 999.9.

Kayobotsi Bosco, the Managing Director, emphasized the need for confidentiality due to the precious nature of gold. The identity of customers is closely guarded, even from employees. Addressing the canceled agreement between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda for gold processing, Kayobotsi clarified that it had no impact on Gasabo Gold Refinery’s operations.

The focus is on increasing processing output to 28.8 tons per year from the current 30% capacity equivalent to 144 kilograms in 30 hours. Actively raising awareness among foreigners, the refinery aims to prevent bankruptcy due to the export of unprocessed gold. Currently employing 40 Rwandans, the company ensures their well-being with benefits such as transportation, food, and health insurance.

Environmental considerations are a priority, with automated systems in place to absorb harmful emissions and protect workers from hazardous substances. Gasabo Gold Refinery is working towards obtaining an international license, currently held solely by South Africa, by meeting all necessary requirements.

Despite global challenges, Rwanda’s gold industry is thriving, with the country selling 33,241 kgs of gold in the last four years until 2022. In the third quarter of 2023, approximately 3,000 kgs of gold were sold, generating around Rwf234 billion.