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Nickel royalty helps Burundi boost its spending plan by 40%

Burundi plans to increase its national budget by almost 40% for the fiscal year starting July as it eyes revenue from a nickel concession it awarded to a new partner.

Spending plans for the nation of around 12 million people will probably increase to 2.4 trillion francs ($1.2 billion) for 2022-23, according to a cabinet statement. The government targets a 30% wider budget deficit of about 197 billion francs.

Nickel mining in Burundi

Burundi, which has an estimated 6% of the world’s known nickel deposits, awarded a mining concession to East African Regional Projects. The deal involves remitting $1.5 billion to the government annually, with the first $500 million expected soon.

The country is among the ten countries in the world that have important deposits of nickel untapped, according to the study commissioned by the African Development Bank in 2009. Burundi mining activity has so far been dominated by rudimentary mining techniques characterized by low production capacity and lack of environment respect.

The establishment of a nickel manufacturing plant in the Zone Economique Special Burundi (ZES Burundi) shall benefit from having unlimited supplies of raw material which is competitively priced to make nickel products. The plant shall be the first one of its kind in the region. Its products could be sold on the Burundi, EAC and other export markets to earn a higher return.

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