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Towards the establishment of a new mining code in Burundi


Jun 29, 2023

GITEGA June 29th (ABP) – Burundian senators meeting in plenary assembly unanimously passed, on June 27, 2023, in the hemicycle of Gitega (center of the country), the bill amending Law N° 1/21 of October 15, 2013, on the mining code of Burundi.

The session was marked by the presence of the Minister of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines, Mr. Ibrahim Uwizeye, who had represented the government to present the said bill to the senators and enlighten them on the most important aspects.

In his explanatory memorandum, Minister Uwizeye indicated that the mining sector plays an important role in the development of the country since it allows the attraction of both national and foreign investors. It also increases a country’s foreign exchange reserves, he added.

In addition, Mr. Uwizeye explained that such a sector deserves special attention even in the smallest details of its legislation. Hence, he said that it is imperative to provide Burundi with texts without gaps and adapted to international instruments relating to the field of mines and quarries.

                                                                 View of Senators voting for the bill

Thus, he presented recommendations to advance the mining sector and allow the maximization of its performance. These include, among others, the new provisions to specify the conditions for issuing and renewing the small-scale mining permit as well as the rights and obligations of the holder of the permit, the notion of percentage of production between the State and the operator, the on-site processing of products to be exported up to a certain percentage and the presence of a Burundian shareholding of at least 25%. New provisions for health and safety and for social responsibility would be added, as well as the payment of the loss of revenue caused to the State by mining activities.

In their interventions, the senators sought to know why the exploitation of minerals does not create a positive impact on the development of the country. To that question, Minister Uwizeye replied that it emanated from legislation that was drafted to the detriment of the State, hence the interest of this bill, he said. In relation to the populations of the provinces of Muyinga and Cibitoke who lament being deprived of the right to mining, that minister replied that mining is open to all citizens who can do it.

However, he pointed out that he has seen cases of operators not honoring the contracts that bound them to the State, whereas those contracts determined how the State and the operator divided the dividends.