The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines is scraping its plan to ban rough gem exports and export ban on raw tantalum, in order to increase the export volume of mineral resources, Fortune reported.
The Ministry has also raised its revenue projection for 2013/14 fiscal year to one billion dollar, from the initial target of US$777 million. In January 2013, the Ministry announced its intention to ban rough gem exports at the start of the new fiscal year. This was because of the considerably higher price a value-added stone would fetch when compared with the rough cut.
Although the ban of raw tantalum for similar reasons came at an earlier time, it was not fully implemented in 2012/13, because the tantalum already in stock was exported. There are 50,000 artisan gemstone miners and over 200 exporters in Ethiopia, according to data from the Ministry.
The Ministry's move is partly to give artisan miners and exporters adequate time to buy the gemstone refining machine, as well as developing capacity, aside from filling gaps in export revenue.