Ethiopia has earned 654 million US dollars from the export of minerals including gold, platinum, tantalum and decorative stones and gem stones in the just concluded fiscal year according to the Ministry of Mines.
The mining sector is becoming a significant source of export income according to Bacha Fuji Director of the Public Relations and Communications Directorate with the ministry.
The sector targets generating foreign currency as well as adding value to the GDP with 455 Million US dollars of the total revenue earned by artisan miners he noted.The mineral sector is offering a significant employment opportunity to communities located near areas of mineral development as well for skilled and semi skilled nationals said Bacha.
Ethiopia has a range of untapped mineral resources that could generate income and contribute to enhanced economic development added Bacha.
There are currently approximately 134 local and international mining companies active in the sector making minerals the second largest export commodity next to only coffee he noted.
The largest mineral export so far is gold although tantalum exports are increasing significantly with large quantities being extracted by a range of large scale mining companies and artisan miners.
Ethiopian mineral products are mainly exported to the East and Southern African markets as well as to Asia and Oceania. Exports to these regions are preferred due to freight cost according to Bacha.
In related news licenses issued to six international companies have been revoked this fiscal year for failure to meet contractual obligations said Bacha.
Source: Ethiopian Press Agency