Rwanda has abundant deposits of best quality coltan, Kagame affirms

Coltan mining in Rwanda

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame says Rwanda has abundant coltan deposits. ‘Rwanda has not only enough coltan but of a very high quality,’ he told a press briefing in Kigali mid-January.
Dismissing allegations that Rwanda plunders DR Congo minerals, Kagame offered to facilitate any scientific investigation, if need be. ‘We can even pay for a ticket, give them a visa and take them to the mines,’ he said.
In 2013, Rwanda exported 2.5 tonnes of coltan, worth $134.5m, accounting for 28 percent of the total 8.8 tonnes of tantalum produced globally. Early January, Merchant Research & Consulting, a UK-based research firm, released a report on the global coltan trade, saying the global production fell by 13.6 percent year on year. It also confirmed Rwanda remained the leading producer of the material 23.7 percent, followed by Brazil (18.6 percent), Congo (10.2 percent). It also said global tantalum deposits are sufficient to meet the demand in the years ahead. Rwanda says it has not fully exploited its abundant deposits.
Meanwhile, in 2013, countries producing coltan were subjected to US Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (DFA) that controls the purchase of minerals sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and its 11 neighbours.
The act was meant to deter the plundering of minerals in DR Congo, activities that financed the conflicts in the country.
Rwanda says it has fulfilled all the requirements with the introduction of a Minerals Traceability Programme where all its minerals get tagged from the mining sites until their final destination. Indeed, companies sourcing minerals from Rwanda are forced to export only those that are conflict-free. Coltan is a rare mineral, hugely on demand in industrial countries for production of electronics.


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