Rwanda signed mining contracts with six companies to exploit 10 mining concessions that will earn the central African country up to 45 million US dollars in five years, as part of a privatisation drive.
Mining, which the government says contributes 1.5 per cent of its 7.9 billion US dollars gross domestic product, is Rwanda's second-biggest foreign income earner after tourism, with metallic ore coltan bringing in the most money.
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Annually for five years from 2017, Rwanda expects to produce 3,200 tonnes of mixed tantalum, tin and tungsten ores from the concessions, or around 30 percent of total production, Evode Imena, state minister for mining, told a news conference.
"For the whole country, (last year) the mining revenues were at around 216 million US dollars and for these six companies coming for the next five years they will be producing around 40 million US dollars to 45 million, which is considerable," Imena said.
The concessions are in the western part of Rwanda and will bring in investments of about 6.5 billion francs ($9 million).
Five of the companies awarded concessions are owned locally and one is Indian owned.
Tantalum from coltan is used to make tantalum capacitors, used in electronic products.