Ministry issues five mining exploration licenses


The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas has granted five licenses to international and local firms allowing them to explore and produce Gold, Bromine, Gypsum and Gemstone minerals in Tigray and Afar regions.
The signing ceremony was held at the Ministry hall in the presence of the Minister Samuel Urkato, regional mining office heads and mining company’s managers last Thursday.
Tigray Resources Plc., a local mining firm, obtained two licenses to produce gold, copper and silver in Tigray regional state, which is expected to invest a total of 90.4 million USD to mine the minerals in two areas – Matso Bula and Databuk in north western Tigray.
The Ministry also signed a 12-year long Bromine production deal with Tanarmu Plc., a Chinese mining firm to explore and 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 birr while Jimruk is going to spend 5.1 million birr during their three-year exploration activities.
According to Samuel Urkato the projects are expected to create over 600 job opportunities.
“The Five year contract agreements could be renewed depending on the performances of the companies and if the Ministry accepts the renewal,” said Samuel.
Samuel also informed the mining firms to adhere with their agreements and keep the safety of the public and the environment of their working areas safe while doing their job.
For the last nine months, the country earned the lowest revenue of 39.6 million USD from exporting mine products against the projected 766.9 million USD in the stated period.
According to the ministry, there are more than 200 foreign and local licensed mining companies engaged in the exploration and mining of minerals.