The short period the US has given countries to prove their minerals are not from DR Congo will disrupt supply and hurt economies, a Rwandan government told East Africa Business Week. The US financial reform act passed by President Obama on 20 July includes a provision requiring companies to disclose whether they use minerals from DRC or neighbouring countries within nine months.
Dr. Michael Biryabarema, Director General Rwanda Geology and Mines Authority argues that enough time is required for companies to put mineral tracing processes in place, since the legislation implies that even minerals produced in countries neighbouring DRC have to be certified. "This calls for the mineral sector in Rwanda to strengthen its capacity in documentation and be in position to satisfy the consumer community. The timing for implementation should be clearly studied to avoid hurting the industry that has no connection to the conflict source whatsoever," Biryabarema said.
Rwanda has started a certification process where mining companies in the country that comply with internationally accepted standards are to be graded and issued with a certificate of compliance by the end of this year in an effort to improve the performance of the sector. The country exported 4,269 tonnes of cassiterite (tin ore) in 2009, including material trans-shipped from the DRC.