EU signs critical raw materials deal with Rwanda

EU signs critical raw materials deal with Rwanda

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The European Union has signed a key deal with Rwanda on critical raw materials for electronics.

Power Resources International is set to open a refinery for tantalum and niobium for chips and capacitors, where the Rwanda is a major supplier, and the country also has the only tin refinery in Africa.

Commissioner for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, and Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vincent Biruta, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen Rwanda’s role in fostering sustainable development and resilient value chains across Africa.

The MoU covers five areas, from the integration of sustainable raw materials value chains with increased due diligence and traceability to research and development in the exploration, extraction, refining, processing and recycling of critical raw materials.

This also includes rare earths used for motors and magnets such as niobium as well as gold and lithium for batteries.

“Rwanda is an important provider of tantalum, tin, tungsten, gold and niobium, and has potential for lithium and rare earth elements. With this mutually beneficial partnership, we aim to build a resilient and sustainable critical raw materials value chain covering extraction, refining, processing, recycling and substitution. Transparency, traceability and investment are at the core of the EU-Rwanda critical raw materials partnership,” said Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market.

The deal also includes funding for deployment of infrastructure required for the development of raw material value chains, including through improving the investment climate.

A roadmap with concrete actions will be developed over the next six months to put the strategic partnership into practice.

This follows similar deals with the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Zambia and Namibia. Other deals for sustainable raw materials value chains are in place with Argentina, Canada, Chile, Greenland, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

“Today’s signing underscores Rwanda’s commitment to unlocking the full potential of our mining sector, while contributing to the supply of critical minerals required to transition towards a greener, more sustainable global economy. This agreement further guarantees the quality and traceability of our raw materials, reaffirming Rwanda as a reliable partner in international trade. Rwanda values its partnership with the EU and looks forward to further strengthening our growing cooperation,” said Vincent Biruta, Rwandan Minister for foreign affairs.


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