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Energy and Mining

Allana Potash's Shares Rise on High Quality Find in Ethiopia

Tue Jun 14, 2011

Allana Potash Corp said it found a new high-grade potash zone in its property in Ethiopia, driving its shares up by 12 percent.

The company said that results from drilling in Hole 19 at the company's Dallol property in Ethiopia's north eastern Danakil Depression yielded over 61 percent of potash over 0.90 metres. That was by far the highest grade potassium chloride (KCl) Allana had come across, Dundee Securities said in a note to clients, and rated the company as their "top pick" among small potash explorers.

The company said Hole 12 yielded 22.3 percent potash over 6.8 metres. About 90 percent of potash produced is used as fertilizer, known as potassium chloride. Demand for fertilizers like nitrogen, phosphate and potash has grown dramatically.

Alana has at least 16 drill holes which will be considered for the resource update in the company's upcoming technical report.

Dundee said that Allana would have a large resource upgrade and would be able to produce at exceedingly competitive operating costs.

At present, Allana Potash Corp has estimated resources of 105 million tonnes and "will have a significant upwards revision once the updated NI 43-101 technical report is prepared and completed over the coming five to seven days, the brokerage said.

The potash mineralization in the Danakil Depression is well known, with mining carried out sporadically from the early 1900s. Other mining corporations in the basin include BHP Billiton and India's Sainik Coal Mining, which is planning to start mining at the Musley deposit.

Source: Reuters

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Ethiopia Starts Exporting Electricity to Djibouti

Monday, 13 June 2011

According Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the country has planned to produce about 8,000 megawatts of extra electricity from hydropower sources in the coming five years. He had announced on 2 April 2011 the construction of a 5,250-megawatt project at a cost of $4.76 billion dollars close to the Sudanese border.

According to the Wold Bank, Ethiopia's hydropower potential of 45,000 megawatts is second in Africa only to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Transmission line to Sudan, financed by the World Bank, could be completed this year, Raihan Elahi, the World Bank's senior energy specialist in Ethiopia, said last month. And, according to Elahi, an agreement has been concluded for Ethiopia to supply about 200 megawatts to Sudan.

The African Development Bank supplied 95 million dollars to Ethiopia and Djibouti to support the project that links the two countries, Ethiopia Resident Representative Lamin Barrow said on Friday.

Ethiopia is expected to make 10 million dollars from the first year of the connection, according to Barrow. The foreign exchange Ethiopia earns the connection can be used to support the country's Universal Electrification Access Program, Elahi said.

Ethiopia has a plan to provide electricity to 75 percent of its population in July 2015. Currently, 41 percent of the population has access to electricity.

Source: Bloomberg

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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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Wind Farm to Start Generating Power

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Ashegoda Wind Farm, the first of its kind in Ethiopia, is going to start projection of the first megawatt of electricity in July according to Jean-Christophe Belliard, the Ambassador of France to Ethiopia, who has been closely following the project.

The wind farm will have an installed capacity to generate 120 megawatt of electricity.

Believed to be the biggest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa, the wind farm project is to be completed in three phases. The first of the project's three phases, according to the ambassador, will be fully completed by September and connected to the national grid with an installed capacity of 30 megawatt of electricity.

The construction of the wind farm project is in progress in Ashegoda, 20 km south west of Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray Regional State. Vergnet Group, the French turbine manufacturer and developer of wind farm, is commissioned to undertake the construction of the farm project at a cost of 210 million euro.

For various reasons, the project had been going slow when it started but now it is moving fast, the ambassador said.

The ambassador said that the wind farm was equipped with the kind of technology that makes it possible to tone down the wind mill just by pressing a button when a bad storm is coming.

By the time the project is fully completed in February 2013, it will have 120 GEV-HP 1 megawatt twin-blade tilting rotor turbines installed.

Source: Walta Information Centre

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Ethiopian Potash Corp Set to Start Drilling

Ethiopian Potash CorpEthiopian Potash Corp's drilling rigs are in the process of being commissioned and are expected to start operation in a week's time, George Roach, board chairman said last week during an event in which Robert J. Metcalfe was assigned the new director of the corporation while Wally Rudensky resigned from the board of directors.

Mr. Metcalfe is expected to bring to the board of directors his broad experiences of serving on the board of several natural resources companies such as Central Patricia Gold Mines Limited and Iron Bay Trust Inc.

Praising the departing board member, George Roach said that the change was in accordance with the corporation's declared plan of moving forward from the transitional phase of listing of the company to a fully operational phase calculated to boost shareholder value through exhaustive exploration and resource development. In this regard, he said that the company's drilling rigs were in the process of being commissioned and were expected to be "turning" within the week.

Ethiopian Potash Corp. (EPC) is a Canadian company headquartered in Toronto, Ontario and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The company has filed a NI 43-101 report compiled by Ercosplan, the recognised authority on the Danakil Depression, that identifies a NI 43-101 compliant inferred resource of 128 million tonnes grading 21 percent KCL. Ercosplan recommends a 15,000 metre diamond drilling program to further define and expand the known resource; this program is scheduled to start before the end of this month and will provide the basis for a scoping study and subsequent feasibility scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of this year, a significant step on EPC's path to production.

The Danakil Depression in northern Ethiopia contains one of the largest undeveloped potash resources in the world. The fact that it lays almost on the surface of the ground as opposed to the potash deposits in Saskatchewan which occur at depths greater than one kilometre testifies to its significance. Ethiopian Potash Corp has two neighbouring development concessions covering 481 sq km in the center of the Danakil Depression.

Source: Press Release Ethiopian Potash Corp

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