Client: Ministry of Mines / World Bank
Year Completed: 2011
The Government of Burundi has identified the mining sector as a major source of economic growth and the development of mineral resources a top priority. Its laws governing the minerals sector, however, date back to a time when mining was still in its infancy, and do not have the appropriate mechanisms to maximize the contribution of mining to national development.
With support from the World Bank, Burundi has launched a comprehensive reform program to develop the country’s mining sector. The program aims at instituting the necessary conditions for private sector investment in line with national interests. One of its priorities is to develop a modern mining code that enables productive exploration and exploitation while ensuring the protection of the environment and the well-being of society.
Supporting this reform program as a sub-contractor to the law firm Dewey LeBoeufm, IBI conducted a comprehensive review of the legislation affecting mining and the environmental and socio-economic impact of existing and proposed mining operations. Following a consultative process that included communities in mining areas, IBI produced a report highlighting gaps and contradictions in the current regulation, focusing particularly on mining taxation, environmental protection, and small scale mining. Based on recommendations from this report, IBI’s team worked with the Ministry of Energy and Mining to produce a draft new Mining Code. The team then organized a training session in Bujumbura for Ministry officials to strengthen their knowledge and skills on negotiating small scale mining agreements and adopting good financial management and environmental taxation practices. The new Mining Code incorporates the feedback from this process, and has been submitted to the Ministry for final approval.