Historical Mining

Low level exploitation for 60 years during colonial era

  • Quartz veins and alluvial / colluvial hosted tin mineralisation was identified at Musha in 1928 by Belgian colonial company Minetain
  • Ntunga was acquired by Minetain and tin-tantalite production commenced in 1939
  • The initial focus was on alluvial / colluvial deposits with underground workings developed in the 1950’s to exploit primary vein-hosted mineralisation
  • In 1973 Minetain combined with the State to form a new company, Société des mines du Rwanda (SOMIRWA)
  • SOMIRWA operated both Musha and Ntunga mines from 1973 until a a significant period of depressed tin pricing led to the company’s closure in 1985
  • From the mid-1980’s through to Piran’s involvement in 2013, mining activity was restricted to small scale local artisanal operators

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