Nation Plans to Secure Over 500 Million USD from Minerals Export During Current Fiscal Year

The Ministry of Mines has announced that it has planned to earn more than 500 million USD from mining sector in during the current Ethiopian fiscal year.

Large areas Ethiopia’s ground are endowed with mineral resources that have not yet been adequately tapped for the benefit of the country.

However, the government has been working to reverse this as it has given utmost priority to the sector in its 10-Year Perspective Development Plan. According to the plan the nation expects over 17 billion USD.

State Minister of Mines Million Mathewos told ENA that in the current Ethiopian fiscal year, more than 500 million USD is planned to be earned from this sector.

He indicated that in order to achieve the plan, efforts are being underway by closely working with companies engaged in the sector, and in particular, support will be given to enhance the development capacity of the companies.

According to him, attention will be given to increase the diversification of minerals for export trade, including industrial minerals.

“In addition to middle level gold producers, there are companies that produce gold in Oromia, Gambella and Benishangul and South West as well as in the Tigray region. We mobilized these companies, including the middle-level companies, and we are working hard to achieve the plan for the year," he said.

On the other hand, the number of international companies engaged in mineral exploration and development is growing, the state minister added.

In particular, he pointed out that companies that have been engaged in mineral exploration for years have completed their exploration works and are moving to development citing the gold mining company Kumrock Mining Company, a subsidiary of Australian gold mining company Allied Gold Mining, that is working in the Benishangul Gumuz region.

The company has now completed its exploration of gold mines and is building a production facility, which is expected to be the largest gold company in Ethiopia, with a cost of more than 500 million USD.

He explained that when the construction is completed in a few years, it will contribute significantly to Ethiopia's foreign exchange earnings from the sector.

Mathewos explained that companies engaged in nickel, copper, tantalum, lithium, potassium and other minerals will complete their exploration and start work in the next few years.

In addition to foreign companies, the interest shown by local investors to engage in the sector is encouraging, he said.

He mentioned that the amount of gold entering the National Bank of Ethiopia is showing a significant improvement due to the measures being taken.

According to the data obtained from the Ministry of Mines, 226.8 million USD was earned from exported minerals in the fiscal year 2015.

Source: Ethiopian News Agency