Rwanda has opened its first gold refinery to process gold from all over Africa and to discourage the export of the minerals from the continent.
The new refinery, built at a cost of $5 million by Aldango Company is located at the Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District.
Aldango which was previously running as a business dealing in gold is a joint venture between two firms – Hilly Metals Company, a local company, and Aldabra.
Pointing out that Africa loses a lot of revenue by exporting raw resources, while inaugurating the factory on Tuesday (19 June), Rwanda’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Soraya Hakuziyaremye, 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 kilogrammes a day, and officials of the company said they were working to expand its capacity as demand increases.
“We have built an advanced factory with enough capacity to process large quantities of gold from all around Africa.” Jean de Dieu Mutunzi, the company’s chairman said.
“What we are doing is not new but people have been used to taking gold to Europe, Dubai, Turkey, Switzerland, and Belgium. Now we have the same factory with the standards as those in Europe and Asia,
“For so long we had no factories that process what is being mined on the continent,” he added.
The company’s initiative is to buy gold from all Africa and process it to get 99.99% of quality. It says that it already has access to the international market.
According to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Rwanda exported some $500 million worth of minerals – albeit in raw form, in 2018. The country targets $1.5 billion in revenue from mineral exports by 2024.