Burundi suspends multinational mining contracts | Land Portal
Eddy Claude Nininahazwe
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Eddy Claude Nininahazwe writing in Amjambo Africa! provides important background on the decision taken by President Evariste Ndayishimiye in July 2021 to suspend and renegotiate all foreign mining contracts in Burundi. Burundi has reserves of nickel, rare earth gold and coltan.

The mining code in Burundi allows foreign companies that invest in mining to own 90% of the shares, leaving just 10% to Burundi. Rainbow Rare Earths Ltd. is one such company. Based in England, Rainbow Rare Earths mines in Gakara Hill, located in rural Bujumbura. The Gakara mining area has enormous reserves of rare earth elements – heavy metals that are essential in the manufacture of high-tech devices such as smartphones and TV screens.

The Tanganyika Mining Company, owned by Russian oligarchs, mines gold deposits in the hills of western Burundi.
On May 19, 2021, residents of the lands impacted by the Tanganyika Mining Company, tired of what they perceive to be exploitation, gathered in the streets to demand compensation for their land, which had been targeted for mining. The residents, supported by the local administration, barricaded the roads leading to the mining sites. Those barricades have now been removed, however the residents have not dropped their demands.

While contracts are suspended, multinational companies have received reassurance that they still own mining licenses in Burundi. 

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