Rwanda is a new entrant of the gem production in East Africa with promising reserves of coloured stones such as blue and teal sapphires, tourmalines, beryls, and amethysts & other quartz varieties.
According to the Rwanda Mines, Petroleum & Gas Board (RMB), the new procedure for grading and valuation of gemstones has been modified to achieve the optimum degree of order. The RMB staff will oversee the sealing of the packaged gemstones after checking and valuation to avoid any kind of tampering.
Rwanda fast-tracked issuing its export processes by implementing the Mineral Certificate Information System (MCIS). The MCIS application captures exporters’ data and issuance of the Mineral Exportation Certificate and it is only accessed by persons registered and licensed to mine, process or to trade in minerals in Rwanda.
1. Data entry on the MICS system
Exporter logs in the MICS system and applies for the Mineral Exportation certificate by filling in the online form.
2. Grading and valuation
For gemstones below 1 tonne
The exporter is required to take the gemstones to RMB offices where they are weighed at his/her presence, after which they are taken to an RMB gemmologist who will solely identify, grade and value the gems.
For gemstones weighing above 1 tonne
With an on-site valuation, the exporter shall notify RMS officials and a date and time for conducting grading and valuation will be arranged at the exporter premise. Each gemstone grade (low, medium, and high) is valued separately. The exporter is required to have a weighing scale or a beam balance.
3. Packaging and sealing
Depending on the total weight of gemstones being shipped out, smaller gemstones are packed in plastic bags. Bulk gems are put in buckets.
RMS is responsible for the sealing of the packages by the use of tamper-proof ropes and wax sealers.
4. Payment of Royalties
A 6% royalty of the total gross value of the gemstones is calculated at the RMC offices. The exporter proceeds to pay. He/she then uploads the banking receipt into the MCIS system.
5. Issuance of the Certificate
Finally, with all the documents and details uploaded into the system and approved, the Mineral Exportation Certificate is issued.
The processing of the certificate takes up-to two days.
According to the CEO of RMB, Mr. Francis Gatere there are over 30 types of gemstones exported from Rwanda.
Rwanda produces high-quality reddish-purple color.
Images courtesy: RMB and Ngali Mining Ltd