Burundi’s mining industry launched the first activities for nickel at the Musongati site, southwest of the country, estimated to contain 150 million tons of the metal.
Burundi’s Second Vice-President Dr. Gervais Rufyikiri chaired the ceremony held in, Rutana Province, in the south of the country.
According to Dr. Rufyikiri, mining of nickel also goes hand in hand with the increased supplies of electricity in the region. He pointed out construction of a hydroelectric plant through Public Private Partnership and the planned construction of a railway linking Musongati and Tanzania as examples of government’s determinations and commitment to implementing the nickel mining project.
The country’s vital nickel deposits remain at Musongati although there were other deposits in Nyabikere and Waga. Musongati mine will, in the meantime use solar energy since construction of a hydroelectric power plant was planned for later. The nickel deposit exploitation will require 800MW of energy.
According to a study commissioned by the African Development Bank in 2009, Burundi is among 10 countries in the world that have important deposits of nickel that is untapped.