RMB publishes COVID-19 guidelines for mining sector

Hon. Francis Gatare, CEO of RMB inspects a tunnel in Northern province ( 2019)

Kigali, June 4, Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board (RMB) announced the guidelines to contain the spread of COVID-19 amongst employees in the mining sector and any other person they may contact.

The guidelines outline adequate tunnel ventilation, de-densification, screening and testing mechanisms, require miners put in place tracing program, allow workers to work in shifts and provide relevant PPE among others.

The guidelines were developed following consultations with stakeholders and in line with existing covid-19 measures as set by the government of Rwanda. 

“We request mining and quarry operators to act in accordance with these guidelines. We want to ensure that they are protected from infection in the workplace, and this will also help the community where they live. This virus is deadly but the good news is that it’s preventable.” says Hon. Francis Gatare, CEO of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board.

The guidelines also stipulate mining and quarry owners have to put in place risk assessment mechanisms to identify any risk or hazard to the safety and health in the mining activities.

These guidelines come to support the existing mining safety code of practice. 

Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board plans next week to unveil quick-win measures to manage covid-19 impact on the mining sector.

Rwanda employs about 100,000 people in the mining sector.