Mining and quarries

All catchments have some form of mining within their boundaries. Mining cannot be looked at in isolation of the rest of the catchment. Mining affects the water cycle through the water it uses and by damaging the forest cover, riverbed, or landscape increasing erosion and contaminating the water by minerals and the chemicals used in processing the minerals. Quarries and exploitation of river sand  are also damaging the landscape and affecting the water quality.

Environmental costs and damage to other water users of mining should be included in the economic planning at national or catchment level. More so considering that contamination can extend far beyond the life of the mine. The 'polluter pays' principle can not be applied to a mine that has closed operations or a mining company that might not even exist anymore. Mitigation plans of environmental costs should be factored in the design of the business case including the management of abandoned mining sites (re forestation).

Artesanal mining
Artesanal mining

Model mines

Model mines is a concept coming from the EDPRS 2: currently 2 mines function as model mines and 25 more model mines are under development. This model includes elements of Corporate Social Responsibility, Protection of environment, and labour conditions. Supporting the artisanal mining can have a large impact on improving the water quality of the catchment. Experiences exist of organizing artisanal miners into cooperatives which gives the miners access to loans and better technology and skills (ref. Forest of Hope in Qishwati forest). The GoR  is looking for new ways to develop the artisanal mining. Link to mining description mv.

DFID programme in 2017 -2020 Supporting Sustainable Artisanal Mining in Rwanda (SSAMIR) will be important to support small scale miners towards a better organized, modernized and environmentally friendlier mining.

Mining organization:

RMC Rwanda Mining Cooperative


MINIRENA Mining law and regulation

REMA Environmental Assessment Regulation Mining

W4GR Mining in the catchment

FONERWA Approaches for private sector sustainable mining   

FONERWA  Responsible mining 

Article  small scale mining cooperatives 

Introductory document green mining Green development and climate resilience strategy:

UN economic mission for Africa. Best practice small scale mining Africa 


Evert Vermeer foundation Artisanal mining and gender in Rwanda: