Local mining companies finally competing here

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The ministry of Mining and Petroleum has issued eight licenses to local and international companies to explore for resources in three regional states.
The Ministry issued eight licenses to seven companies to explore for gold, metal, coal, limestone and potash.
“Unlike previously, the screening process took a month. This is the shortest time in the history of the ministry. We are trying to make doing business easier in Ethiopia,” Samuel Urqato said.
According to the ministry, the companies are selected based on their capability by considering financial status, knowledge and skills. The other companies will be evaluated based on a strict set of criteria though the end of the fiscal year.
The seven companies that received exploration licenses include: Sekota, Ayiga, Agodayo, Africa Mining and Energy, Altaw, Himra and Sun Pick Ethiopia.
Sun Pick Ethiopia, Africa Mining and Energy and Agodayo are international companies with vast experience in exploration and development of mines worldwide.
“The Ministry revised regulations and directives. We want to make it easier for Ethiopian companies to get involved in exploration and mining,” Assefa Kumsa State Minister of Mines and Petroleum said.
Himra Mining is local, even though it’s their first year of existence, they got an exploration license. They will explore metallic mines in Amhara at Wag-himra Zone, Zeguwala Woreda near Mishra River.
Ayiga Trading Industries is another local company which has expressed an interest in exploring metallic mines in Kombolcha, which is also located in Amhara, around 378 km from Addis Ababa.
The companies have been exploring since last year through a sister company with technical support from Chinese and Indian companies.
There are positive signs that we have seen through the exploration. These mines can create 10,000 temporary and permanent employment opportunities when the development process is underway,” says general manager Temesgen Assefa.
Sun Pick, a Canadian company based in Vancouver, British Columbia obtained an exploration license for a new project in Adi Daro, in Tigray Regional State.
In 2018 they got an exploration license in “Nefisit” outside “Shire” city.
“The licensing process took, more than a year then but this time it was much quicker than the previous one in Nefisit,” said their vice president David Awram.
Unlike previously, regional mining office heads were there to facilitate and welcome them, providing all the support they needed.
The tenure of the agreement will be effective for three years of course it can be renewed if both parties agree.
According to the agreement, the companies are expected to abide by the directives and regulations and works in accordance with internationally accepted mining procedures.
The companies will invest a total of 90 million birr for the exploration cost. The mining should create employment opportunities for two hundred people.