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Ethiopia’s gold exports reach 75% of annual target in first 9 months

By our staff reporter

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Ministry of Mines (MoM) has reported that the country’s gold exports have reached 75% of the annual target during the first nine months of the 2023/24 budget year.

According to Minister Habtamu Tegegn, over three tons of the precious metal were exported during this period, which is 12.6% more than the same time in the previous budget year. Out of the total quantity, 2.4 tons were exported by companies, while the remaining 0.4 tons came from artisanal miners.

“The revenue target from gold export has reduced in the nine months of the budget year, even though it is higher than compared with the previous year,” Habtamu told the parliament. He attributed this reduction to factors such as delays in production by certain investors and the ongoing issue of gold smuggling.

Despite the revenue target reduction, the Minister noted that the overall performance of the mining industry has been positive. Gold exports during the specified period generated $274 million, an 83% increase compared to the previous year.

In addition to gold, Ethiopia also exported 9.9 tons of processed and rough opal, 11,176 tons of lithium, 69.8 tons of tantalum ore, and 79.5 tons of jewelry. The total export value of industrial minerals reached $13.3 million.

“Overall, the mining industry has generated $289 million in exports during the stated period, which represents a 68% increase over the same period last year,” Habtamu said.

The Minister also highlighted progress in import substitution, with the cement industry meeting 64% of its coal demand from domestic sources. Two new factories are expected to begin producing washed coal in the upcoming year, while one facility is currently providing this service.

However, the steel industry faced a 22% decrease in production during the nine-month period, as players struggled to secure foreign currency for imported inputs. The industry also continues to struggle with the import and illegal trade of finished steel goods.

Overall, the data presented by the Ministry of Mines suggests that Ethiopia’s mining sector is making strides, with gold exports leading the way, but challenges related to logistics, investment, and competition from illicit trade persist.

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