Burundi launches activities in new nickel mine

Nickel deposits in Musongati were first discovered in 1972 by the Burundian government. (Image source: Stefan Jürgensen/Flickr)Burundi has started operations at its new nickel mine, which holds an estimated reserve of about 150mn tonnes of the metal, in Musongati region

The nickel mine will be operated by a joint venture of Burundi Mining Metallurgy International and the government.

Danko Konchar, managing director of Burundi Mining Metallurgy International, said that other metals associated with the nickel such as iron, copper, cobalt and platinum also have also been traced in the region. He, however, said that 800MW of energy is required to exploit the Musongati mine site.

Gervais Rufyikiri, second vice-president of Burundi, added that the revenue generated from the mine will be used to improve agriculture, health, education, transport infrastructure, tourism development, job creation and housing in the country.

“The launch of the mining activities is a sign of peace and stability recovered in the region. The nickel deposits also exist in Nyabikere and Waga, but the most important deposit is the one of Musongati,” added Rufyikir.

According to a study commissioned by the African Development Bank in 2009, Burundi is among the 10 countries in the world that have important deposits of nickel untapped.

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