ENS Africa is reporting that Burundi’s parliament has approved a new mining code, which will help to foster greater participation by the private sector and boost government revenue. The new code replaces legislation that had been in effect since 1976.

The new law essentially separates the mining sector from that of oil and gas, with the latter continuing to be governed by the old mining and petroleum legislation until a new, separate codification is adopted.

The significance of the new law is that the mining industry, which is currently underdeveloped, is considered a ‘priority’ sector in Burundi. The country has proven reserves of several lucrative minerals which include nickel, cassiterite, Colombo tantalite, gold, phosphates, and limestone. But the sector is dominated by small or artisan miners. The government hopes to change this by relaxing the legislative framework which it believes will encourage more interest from large-scale private and foreign investors.