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Rwanda’s Long History of Mining

Kigali’s mining ambitions will soon be met as a result of increasing, and systematic, investment in productivity, exploration and value addition. Last year, mineral exports were Rwanda’s largest foreign exchange earner, bringing in close to $800 million compared to just over $400 million in 2019. This huge jump in earnings was due to two main factors. First, owing to increased mines productivity and mineral value addition through enhanced investment, overall export of minerals increased last year to 18, 658 tons from 7,343 tons in 2019. Second, the increase in global commodity prices of coltan, to $48.82 per kilo in 2022 compared to $33.7 per kilo in 2019. Similarly, cassiterite prices doubled from $9.7 per kilo to $17.3 in the same period. While Rwanda is moving in the right direction in terms of mining revenues, there is still a long way to go before we reach the target set of $1.5 billion by 2024 as set out in the National Strategy for Transformation.