Ministry Issues Five Exploration, Mining Licenses

Ethiopia Issues Five Exploration, Mining Licenses

By Sisay Sahlu

ADDIS ABEBA – The Ethiopian government has issued five licenses for four international and local firms which will allow them to explore and produce minerals in Ethiopia.

Tigray Resources Plc., a local mining firm, obtained two licenses to produce gold, copper, and silver in Tigray regional state.

The firm is expected to invest a total of 90.4 million USD to mine the minerals from Mato Bula Gold Copper and Da Tambuk Gold Deposits – located in northwestern Tigray.

Officials of the firm signed the two deals and secured licenses from the Ministry of Mine and Petroleum in the presence of Samuel Hurkato (Ph.D.), minister of mine, on Thursday.

The projects are expected to create 670 job opportunities on a permanent basis, the firm said.

On the same day, the Ministry also signed a 12-year long Bromine production deal with Tanarmu Plc., a Chinese mining firm.

The company will mine Bromine in Afar regional state, and invest over 57 million USD, according to the agreement.

Two other local companies, Best Gypsum Industry, and Jimruk Ethiopia Mining, have secured licenses to explore gypsum and Gemstone, respectively.

Best Gypsum agreed to invest 2.7 million Br while Jimruk allocated to spend 5.1 million Br during their three-year exploration activities.

The contract period stated in the five agreements could be extended depending on their performances, said minister Samuel.

Samuel also informed the mining firms to adhere to their agreements and keep the safety of the public and the environment of their working areas safe while doing their job.

The Ministry is currently taking measures to bolster the underperforming local mining industry, including adopting a national mining policy.

The mining sector has been seriously affected by the political instability that rocked the country in the past four years. Growing contraband trade has significantly reduced the mineral export earnings. The annual mineral export earning has nosedived from 600 million USD to 130 million US Dollars.