Mining and Quarry operations in Rwanda are regulated by Law Number 58/2018 of 13/08/2018 On Mining and Quarry Operations
The general principles relating to mining and quarry operations are as follows:
- All rights of ownership and control of minerals or quarry products in, under or upon any land in Rwanda are vested in the State notwithstanding personal ownership of land and other properties thereof
- Mineral exploration, exploitation, processing and trading are carried out by a person who has been granted a license in accordance with this Law
- Quarry operations are conducted only by a person who has been granted a licence in accordance with this Law
- The competent authority may designate certain quarries for the exclusive exploitation by the Government for the purposes of carrying out projects in the public interest
- The holder of a licence issued under this Law, prior to the commencement of operations, submits to the competent authority an environmental and social impact assessment approved by the relevant public organ.
Article 9 of Law 58/2018 depicts the size of Mineral Licences in Rwanda. The Mineral licence area consists of one or more contiguous blocks, and each block is reported on independently in accordance with business plan. The maximum size for each block is as follows:
- Four hundred hectares (400 ha) for an exploration licence
- Fifty hectares (50 ha) for a small-scale mining licence
- One hundred hectares (100 ha) for a medium-scale mining licence
- Four hundred hectares (400 ha) for a large-scale mining licence.
Article 10 – Applying for a Mineral Title:
An application for a mineral licence is addressed to the competent authority. Modalities and requirements for a mineral licence application are determined by regulations issued by the competent authority.
However, under Article 11, one can also obtain a mining licence through open tender where the relevant authority might call for tender to carry out exploration or exploitation of Minerals in potential mining areas.
Article 14 – Duration of Mineral Licences:
- An Exploration Licence is valid for an initial period not exceeding four (4) years and under Article 15 may be renewed once for a period not exceeding four (4) years
- A mining licence is valid for an initial period not exceeding fifteen (15) years and under Article 15 may be renewed more than once when considered necessary but each time not more than fifteen (15) years.
There is a minerals tax (Royalty) which is fixed as follows:
4% of the norm value for base metals and other mineral substances of that kind
6% of the norm value for precious metals of gold category and other precious metals of that kind;
6% of the gross value for precious metals of diamond category and other precious stones of that kind
Four key institutions comprise the framework for Mining in Rwanda:
MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES (MINIRENA): MINIRENA is a multisector ministry responsible for the five sectors of Lands, Mines and Geology, Water, Forestry, and the Environment. MINIRENA is responsible for the development of policies, laws, and regulation as well as coordination and supervision of all the activities in each of the five sectors. This includes Mining and quarrying as well as follow-up and evaluation.
RWANDA MINES, PETROLEUM, GAS, BOARD (RMPGB) – FORMERLY THE RWANDA NATURAL RESOURCES AUTHORITY (RNRA): In March 2017, RNRA dissolved and split into three bodies: the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum, and Gas Board (RMPGB), Rwanda Lands Authority, and the Rwanda Water and Forest Authority. The RMPGB is headed by a CEO and holds the mandate to improve mining operations and implementation of the national mining policies and strategies. It should be noted that at the time of the assessment, RNRA was the authority that led the management and promotion of natural resources composed of mines and geology, land, water, and forests. It was entrusted with supervising, monitoring, and ensuring the implementation of issues relating to the protection and promotion of natural resources in programs and all activities of all national institutions. The new RMPGB is comprised of five units: the Geological Survey, RMPGH Business Support Services; the Mining Cadaster and Licenses; Legal; and Mine Inspection.
RWANDA DEVELOPMENT BOARD (RDB): The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) was created by Organic Law N° 53/2008 of 02/09/2008. Its mission is the improvement of the economic well-being of all Rwandans by providing a “one-stop shop” to fast-track development, support sustainable economic growth, and create prosperity for all. The Mining Sector Strategy was developed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, in collaboration with the department responsible for Mining. There is also a department within RDB that is in charge of reviewing and approving EIAs, which includes REMA staff positioned within RDB.
RWANDA ENVIRONMENT MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY (REMA): The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) was established to act as the implementation institution for environmental policies and laws. REMA is additionally tasked with:
- Coordinating various environmental protection activities undertaken by environmental promotion agencies.
- Promoting the integration of environmental issues in development policies, projects, plans, and programs.
- Coordinating the implementation of government policies and decisions taken by the Board of Directors.
- Ensuring the integration of environmental issues in national planning among relevant departments within the government.
- Advising the government on issues, legislation, and law relating to environmental management or implementation of regional or international conventions, treaties, and international agreements relevant to the environment.
- To make proposals to the government in the field of environmental policies and strategies.
The key requirements for a mining right are as follows:
- The economic value of the mineral resources in the mining area.
- A mine design and mine development programme.
- A mineral processing plan.
- A social and environment management plan prepared after the approval of an environmental and social impact assessment.
- An infrastructure development plan.
- A health and safety plan for employees.
- An employment, skills and technology transfer plan.
- A compensation and resettlement plan.
The fees and charges to obtain a mining right are as follows:
- FRW 4.5 million for a large-scale mining licence;
- FRW 2.7 million for a medium-scale mining licence; and
- FRW 1.8 million for a small-scale mining licence.
A mining license is valid for an initial period of up to 15 years, renewable more than once but each time for a period of up to 15 years.
An application for an exploration licence must be submitted to the CEO of the RMB in the prescribed form, together with the following documents:
- A business registration certificate.
- A geological and geophysical analysis.
- A geochemical or mineral resource analysis.
- A programme of exploration operations and associated costs.
- A tax clearance certificate issued by the Rwanda Revenue Authority
- Proof of the applicant’s financial capacity issued by a financial institution or audited financial statements for at least the last two years.
- Proof of the applicant’s technical capacity, including its proficiency and the CVs of key personnel
- An employment and skills transfer plan
- Maps in the prescribed format.
The applicant will be notified of the decision within 90 days of submission of a complete file.
The fees and charges for obtaining an exploration license are FRW 900,000
Under Article 8 of Law 58/2018 the Types of Mineral Titles in Rwanda are as Follows:
- Exploration Licence
- Mining Licence
- Small-Scale Mining Licence
- Medium-Scale Mining Licence
- Large Scale Mining Licence
- Mineral Trading Licence
- Mineral Processing Licence