If there were more smelting companies in Rwanda, miners could earn 75 percent more than they do today. This is because Rwanda exports a big proportion of raw unprocessed minerals to be processed.
Today, a miner earns about Rwf6000 per one kilogram of tin. The value of the mineral goes higher after leaving LuNa Smelter, the leading tin producer in East Africa located in Kigali has resumed and boosted its operations in Kigali.
The factory adds to another gold refinery that started operations in Rwanda in 2019.
Dr. Ivan Twagirashema, Chief Operating Officer of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board, said that having more mines refineries in Rwanda is one way of reducing revenue losses in the production process.
“The more intermediate parties in production process, the less firsthand miners earn. The best way to solve the problem is to decentralize refineries and smelting factories so that the minerals are exported on a better price,” he said.
LuNa Smelter that has just resumed its operations after being interrupted by Covid-19 lockdown and precautionary measures, produces one of the best quality tin with 99.9 percent quality.
The Managing Director of LuNa Smelter, Robert Nowak told the media that the period was used to make adjustments and extensions on the factory to produce even better quality.
“For the past few months we have been out of production but we have been using that times to carry out extensive maintenance works and critical adjustment to ensure good quality,” he explained.
The LuNa Smelter was established in 2018 following a joint venture that took over a rundown dilapidated smelter previously known as the Karuruma Smelter that goes as far back in 1980.
LuNa Smelter, a leading, high-quality African tin supplier has a goal to boost the entire industrial and mining sector of East Africa, especially the development of the new mining projects.
Rwanda is endowed with mineral resources while becoming a hub for mining and processing in the region, LuNa Smelter and other mining refineries are actively contributing.
The company runs an exploration program in Bugarura and Kaluti using high advanced technology to discover full potential of the area.
LuNa Smelter is also finalizing certification of its laboratory, which is ready to provide broad range of services to all stakeholders in the mining and processing industry.
Dr. Twagirishema revealed that after bringing gold refinery and tin smelter, the board is looking into how wolfram can also be processed in Rwanda.
Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB) in June unveiled a set of strategies that could facilitate mineral processing and trading companies to resume full operations, allowing the sector to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Globally, mining and mineral trading activities have slowed down as a result of lockdown measures that several countries have put in place, as well as halting of airline schedules.
This has affected Rwanda’s mining sector just like the rest of the world.
Statistics show that revenue exports of 3Ts decreased by 30.9 percent due to the drop in international commodity prices in January and February 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.