Ethiopia to Hit Mining Target Ahead of Schedule

Targets Exporting 1 mln tonnes of Potash a Year

Friday, 10 June 2011

Ethiopia has planned to achieve its target of more than doubling mining exports to 1 billion dollars a year ahead of time, Sinkenesh Ejigu, Minister of Mines, said yesterday.

The country expects to gross about 500 million dollars from mining exports in the current fiscal year, Sinkenesh said. Ethiopia had planned to double that over the coming five years with exploring for potash being its key aim.

Ethiopia is going to start mining potash within two years and is planning to export 1 million tonnes a year over the coming five years, Sinkenesh aid. That would amount to a small but growing portion of global demand, estimated by Potash Corp at 55 to 60 million tonnes for this year.

Nyota, London-listed company, had applied two weeks ago for large-scale gold mining on Tulu Kapi, 500 km west of Addis Ababa. The total inferred resource of Tulu Kapi is estimated at about 1.2 million ounces of gold.

Ethiopia takes 5 percent of free equity and levies 35 percent tax on taxable income generated from mining.

Increasing numbers of investors and mining companies are attracted to the country's large deposits of gold, silver, copper, platinum, potash and tantalum. Chinese investors are looking for opportunities in the region, as have some of the major mining companies.

Sinkenesh said small-scale prospectors currently account for about 50 percent of output.

Ethiopia has around 80 active mining companies, but expects that to rise sharply. Midroc has been the only gold miner until now, but Nyota, now focused on Ethiopia, is set to follow.

Source: Reuters

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