Ethiopia

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Ethiopia is one of the leading African Countries in mineral commodities such as gold, limestone, salt, pumice, and tantalum. The country covers 1.14 million square kilometers and has 105 million people, making it Africa's second-most populous nation. Ethiopia is a landlocked country in northeast Africa that shares borders with Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia. A land of extremes with fertile grasslands, expansive deserts, tranquil lakes, and massive canyons, it hosts one of the sources of the Nile River but also the world's hottest settlement (Dallol). Ethiopia has enjoyed international acclaim for its impressive and sustained economic growth and the visionary political leadership of Nobel Laureate Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. Mining reform is high on Prime Minister Abiy's agenda, who intends mining to comprise 10% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025. Ethiopia has earned around 505 million U.S. dollars from the gold mining sector in the last 10 months from July 2021 to the 3rd quarter of 2021 from the exports of 6,785 kg of gold, as reported by the Ethiopia Ministry Mines and Petroleum. There is also significant informal production, with around 350,000 artisanal gold miners estimated to support a population of up to five to seven million.

Quick Facts

Gold

Primary Mineral

500K MT

Estimated Reserves

Undisclosed

Tax Benefits

350K +

Active resource businesses

Ethiopia is indeed the land of abundant resources throughout its vast and diverse landmass. Geological surveys conducted on minerals in Ethiopia have shown formations that are believed to contain a vast amount of mineral resources, with proven deposits of industrial minerals, coal, precious metals, and gemstones. Until recently, disputes with neighboring countries and armed groups opposing the Government have made it impossible to fully utilize all of the yet untapped natural resources. Fortunately, with the profound changes to the reforms enacted by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, peace has returned to Ethiopia, albeit some internal ethnic-based violence is being resolved.  Gold is king for exportable mineral commodities in Ethiopia, bringing about $300 to $500 million each year. Massive gold deposits believed to have once been mined by the ancient Egyptians and the legendary Queen Sheba were recently discovered in Assosa, located in the western part of Ethiopia. The Assosa gold deposit is just one of the many yet untapped sources of gold that could quickly put Ethiopia in the top 5 gold-producing countries in the world. Concerning gemstones, opal leads the pack with over 98% by exports value and, almost all are exported in their rough form, due to the lack of a developed industry. Aside from opal, the following are proven gemstone deposits: aquamarine, tourmaline, amethyst, emerald, garnet, peridot, and sapphire. Oil and gas in Ethiopia have a history that is a little over a century old. In 1860, an oil seep was discovered, but it wasn’t till the 1920’s that inexhaustible seeps of oil were verified. The Ogaden Basin in the Somali Regional State covers 135,000 square miles (350,000 square kilometers) and holds massive natural gas and crude oil reserves.

Currently, only one large-scale gold mining company, Midroc Legedembi Gold Mine, privatized from government ownership in 1997, operates an open pit mining in Ethiopia. Midroc Gold Mine produces 3.5 -4 tons per annum and exports in Dore form. Midroc Gold is also licensed with two gold exploration projects located near the mine (Adola-Legadembi Exploration License -ALEL) and in another area some 600km northwest of the capital Addis Ababa (Metekel Exploration License -MEL).

As part of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Oil & Mineral Resources efforts to promote investment in the oil and mines sector, it has set up an information kiosk in the lobby of the MoMP’s federal office to serve as the first point of contact for the public, investors, and any other stakeholders involved with or affected by mining  operations who want  to know what their rights are, and levels of service to which they are entitled. Any public, investor, or other stakeholders will download all information they need from the kiosk and request appointments with Ministry staff. In addition, they can complain about any service delivery failures or violations of their rights by the MoMP.

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