BUJUMBURA May 30th (ABP) – The Cabinet Meeting held last week, under the chairmanship of the President of the Republic, Evariste Ndayishimiye, analyzed several items including a note relating to the pilot project of the company MUSUMBA Steel for the production of sponge iron on the Bikobe site of the Nyange-Songa perimeter, in Makamba province, which was presented by the Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines, according to the Cabinet’s press release.
MUSUMBA Steel is a Burundian company operating in the field of steel processing to produce construction materials, including iron sheets, nails, iron bars, tubes and profiles of all kinds. It is supplied with rolls of steel on the external market, which generates a large sum of foreign currency leaving the country.
To deal with that situation, MUSUMBA Steel has undertaken efforts to produce steel in Burundi with locally available materials. That is how it was granted an authorization to prospect for iron and associated minerals on the Nyange-Songa perimeter. On March 27, 2023, MUSUMBA Steel submitted an application file for an authorization to operate an industrial quarry on a pilot basis for the production of sponge iron.
The MUSUMBA Steel pilot project aims to substitute imported iron with locally mined and processed iron. Mining will take place on the Bikobe site with an area of approximately 12 hectares, within the Nyange-Songa perimeter. The project aims to build a pilot sponge iron production unit with a capacity of 50 tons per day. After analyzing that note, the Cabinet approved that request and made some recommendations.
The Ministry in charge of mines is called upon to set up a committee responsible for monitoring the extraction of that iron by MUSUMBA Steel, the procedures required by the laws and regulations relating to mines must be respected. It will also be necessary to study the methods of collaboration with the companies which come to operate in the mining sector, so that they train Burundian technicians. The other recommendation concerns the encouragement of investment in the energy sector because the availability of energy is important for mining. Other projects deserve to be encouraged, namely the Marble Production Project, the Soteb company which plans to produce 100 kg of gold per month, and the industrial peat production project.