ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has obtained 513.9 million US Dollars from the export of gold in the last eleven months of the current fiscal year, the Ministry of Mines announced.
Speaking to reporters today, Minister of Mines Takele Uma said the $513.9 million revenue was obtained from gold exports made through the National Bank of Ethiopia in the past 11 months.
The revenue figure makes gold the second top foreign exchange generating commodity, next to coffee export. Ethiopia obtained nearly $1.2 billion in coffee export in the same period.
The ministry is working with the National Bank of Ethiopia to further boost the gold deposits and export trade.
“The government has created enabling environment for both domestic and foreign companies to invest in the country,” said Takele, apart from enacting a new mining policy and revising the proclamation.
– Revokes 972 Licenses –
He said many mining companies are currently working in good faith to comply with the law to benefit themselves and Ethiopia from its mineral resources. Authorities are also getting strict on licensed companies that are failing to comply with the terms of their contract and country’s law.
The ministry of mines recently revoked the licenses of 972 companies engaged in exploration, extraction, and export activities for failing to comply with the terms of their contracts and others, its top officials said.
Many of the companies whose licenses were revoked were also engaged in theft and contraband activities among other things, according to the minister.
“We will not allow our natural resources to be wasted in the name of investment,” Takele stressed.
Increased Price for Artisan suppliers
On the same day, the National Bank announced it has increased the price of gold buying rate from artisan suppliers to 35% over the global gold price with a view to boosting foreign currency earnings.
Previously NBE had set 10, 25, and 27 percent incentives compared to the global price rates for artisan gold suppliers up to 150gram, 1kg, and 5kg respectively, and 29% above 5kg.
The latest measure was taken to boost foreign currency earning from gold export by incentivizing the artisan suppliers while reducing the amount of gold going to contraband gold trade.