Rwanda is set to score over $1 billion dollars from its first gold refinery, the Aldango. It is gold located in the Kigali Special Economic Zone and began operations in March and according to reports, the refinery has a capacity to refine 6 tonnes of gold a month. And is expected to increase with rising demand.
In 2014, ENSafrica director in the mining business area, Otsile Matlou said the country aims to earn at least $1.5 billion in revenues from mineral exports. The importance of beneficiation in this regard cannot be overemphasized enough. As ENSafrica director in the mining business area, “The concept is not just a mining issue, but also a socio-economic one: it is no longer adequate for mine producing countries to mine and export raw materials. The trend is not to mine the mineral, concentrate it, then make mineral products with it, rather than mine it and ship it elsewhere for others to make something with it, only to then sell it back to where it originated. Beneficiation needs to happen.”
Rwanda’s Aldango was born of a joint venture between Hilly Metals Company, and Aldabra. Aldango’s Chairperson, Jean de Dieu Mutunzi, told the New Times,
“We have built an advanced factory with enough capacity to process large quantities of gold from all around Africa.” He added that the refinery has the same standards as Europe and Asia.
Pointing out that Africa loses a lot of revenue by exporting raw resources, Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry said, “This is also to showcase that we can add value to raw materials and investments that have been made.”
The new facility has a capacity to refine 6 tonnes of gold a month, or about 220 kilograms a day, and officials said they were working to expand its capacity as demand increases.
According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Rwanda exported some $500 million worth of minerals – albeit in raw form.