Only days before his announcement to run for an unconstitutional third term led to violent demonstrations and an enduring political crisis, Burundian President Pierre Nkrununziza sold the rights to the Gakra rare earth deposit to a Guernsey-based shell company that will resell the minerals to ThyssenKrupp:
.The signature of the decree follows an offtake agreement signed on 14 April by another company of the same group, Rainbow Rare Earths Limited, withThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products GmbH, part of the German ThyssenKrupp group. According to the deal, the German firm will purchase 5,000 tonnes per annum (“tpa”) of Rare Earth concentrate or downstream products resulting from this concentrate. Besides, Rainbow appointed ThyssenKrupp Metallurgical Products as its exclusive agent for sale worldwide. Production should begin during the last quarter of 2015, says Rainbow’s Managing Director, Martin Eales.
We’ll see how ThyssenKrupp will position itself, should the political crisis in Burundi continue.