Rwanda’s Minister of State in-charge of Mining, Evode Imena, has asked that Rwanda be considered a ‘conflict-free’ mineral country.
According to a ministry statement, he was last week appearing in a Hearing held of the Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee of the United States House of Representatives.
“Currently more money is spent complying with conflict mineral regulation than money spent for government taxes. We would like Rwanda to be considered as conflict-free because there is no conflict in Rwanda,” he said. He continued to explain that Rwanda has made significant efforts to clean the mineral supply chain and that 100% of the 3T minerals, tin, tantalum and tungsten, mined in Rwanda are traceable from the mine site up to the point of export
The hearing was labeled, ‘Dodd-Frank Five Years Later: What Have We Learned from Conflict Minerals Reporting?’
Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires mining companies to disclose whether they source ‘conflict minerals’ – tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold – from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and nine neighboring countries, including Rwanda.
“Despite all that has been accomplished, our efforts to improve are hampered by the fact that Rwanda was lumped together with nine other countries under Section 1502 of Dodd-Frank.
“Putting them in one group and applying a ‘one size fits all’ regulation is not only an impediment to efficient implementation of the regulations, but fails to recognise the efforts made and challenges faced by individual countries,” said Mr. Imena.
Describing how Rwanda is working to ensure its minerals are conflict free, Imena said the country has made great strides by developing a mineral traceability programme.
Given the costs associated with complying with the law and because there is no conflict in Rwanda, the minister recommended that it not be applied to Rwanda.