Rwanda and Rio Tinto Forge Partnership for Lithium Mining

Kigali, January 30, 2024- Rwanda embarked on a significant venture by signing an agreement with the Anglo-Australian mining giant, Rio Tinto. This collaboration marks a pivotal step in exploring and extracting lithium, a critical element in modern technology. The joint statement released by both parties highlights the Rwandan government’s efforts to invigorate and modernize its mining sector, as stated by Yamina Karitanyi, CEO of the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

This move is seen as a strategic initiative by Rwanda to further unlock the potential of its mining industry. The entry of Rio Tinto into the Rwandan market is a testament to this determination. Lawrence Dechambenoit, the Global Head of External Affairs at Rio Tinto, expressed the company’s enthusiasm in partnering with the Rwandan government. Leveraging their global experience, Rio Tinto aims to expedite the discovery of primary lithium deposits in Rwanda’s Western Province.

Lithium, the focal point of this partnership, is a vital component in manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles, smartphones, and other electronic devices. Its increasing demand in the global market makes this agreement particularly significant.

This partnership not only underscores Rwanda’s commitment to enhancing its mining sector but also positions the country as a key player in the global lithium supply chain. The collaboration with Rio Tinto, a leader in the mining industry, could bring substantial economic benefits and technological advancements to Rwanda.

As the world shifts towards sustainable energy and technology, the importance of lithium continues to grow. This agreement between Rwanda and Rio Tinto is a strategic step towards meeting the rising demand for this essential mineral, while also contributing to the economic growth and technological development of Rwanda.