Mining in East Africa
Dozens of companies are actively exploring in East Africa, which is still largely underexplored, but some of the challenges faced by exploration and mining companies include a general lack of skilled workers and inadequate infrastructure such as roads and electricity. A large number of companies are involved in the region’s mining sector, including major companies like Rio Tinto, Barrick Gold and AngloGold Ashanti. Artisanal mining forms a large part of the mining sector in East Africa. Some of the region’s most significant minerals exports are rutile, ilmenite, zircon, gold, and soda ash. Significant investment across several countries has included the opening and development of gold refineries in Rwanda and Tanzania, development of a potash mine in Eritrea and various gold investments in Tanzania, among others.
The mining sector has been identified by most countries in the region as a potential catalyst for economic development, and there is a determined effort to develop the sector and to make it more attractive to investors. This has included a draft policy in Ethiopia to attract foreign mining companies to develop its mining sector. In Rwanda, the processing of new licence applications is being streamlined while in Tanzania, the government established mineral trading centres in every region to reduce tax evasion and illegal exports of minerals. In Uganda, artisanal mining activities are being legalised to bring them into the tax net.
This report focuses on Mining in East Africa and includes descriptions of mineral resources, exploration, production, economic contribution and trade across numerous countries. There are profiles of 44 companies including Canadian company Barrick Gold, which owns a majority interest in three gold mines in Tanzania, and South African AngloGold Ashanti, which owns the Geita mine in Tanzania. Other profiles include Tirupati Graphite, which reached commercial production at one mine and is building and planning numerous processing plants in Madagascar, and EcoGraf, which has graphite projects in Tanzania.