The Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB), has moved to expedite the process of new mining license applications as the country makes efforts to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a press release, RMB said it had also distributed a series of protocols to allow mining companies to resume 100% of their operations with enhanced health and safety measures for their employees.
The state agency emphasized that there be adequate tunnel ventilation, de-densification, screening and testing mechanisms, require miners to put in place tracing programs, allow workers to work in shifts and provide relevant PPE, among others.
When it comes to small-scale mining operators, the Rwandan government said it would manage them more efficiently by consolidating many of them into collective investment groups. Such groups would get mining licenses, which would be open to receive international investments. At the same time, the Board plans to formalize regional trade in minerals to support local smelters, refineries and all value-addition and export business.
According to the media release, the focus of these measures will be on the 3TG (gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten), gemstones, rare minerals, and lithium.