Ethiopia’s mining sector is undergoing a huge transformation as opportunities for investment have opened up. The development of Ethiopia’s mineral wealth is one of the Government’s leading economic objectives which serves as one of the catalysts for the export-orientated development strategy in place. Geological surveys indicate that Ethiopia is endowed with a variety of mineral resources.
Metallic minerals include gold, which is the most developed with a huge potential of exploration. Aproven reserve of natural gas, in the amount of 12.6 trillion CC, has been found which is ready for commercial exploration, whilst deposits of platinum (and other PGE), tantalite, iron, copper,lead, zinc, nickel and other base metals do exist.Petroleum and gemstones have also been identified. Industrial and construction minerals such as quartz, feldspar, mica, kyanite, kaolin, talc, chromites, graphite, magnesite, industrial olivine,marble, and granite, potash, rock salt, soda ash,sulphur, silica sand, diatomite and bentonite havebeen identified and some are under production.Such mineral wealth, in combination with a skilled and highly motivated workforce guarantees a thriving and profitable mining sector. The Mining Proclamation recognises the significant role of private investment in capital formation, technology acquisition and marketing of minerals.
Current mining operations and Investments
Gold is considered to be the mineral with the most potential for mining investment.Legedembi primary gold mine, which has been transferred from public to private ownership, is the largest gold mine, while there are about 8 mines in the Gambella, Somali, Tigray Amhara, Gambela, Benishangul and Southern People’s region. As a result of the conducive fiscal and legislative environment, Many foreign and some local companies have been granted reconnaissance, exploration and mining licenses for gold and base metals, cement and ceramic raw materials, potash, diatomite, other industrial and construction materials. Intensive exploration programmes are also being conducted for oil and gas, precious stones such as diamonds and sapphires and other gemstones in different parts of the country. 2.6 billion dollar was earned in the first Growth and Transformational Plan and 3.2 billion dollar is planned in the second Growth and Transformation Plan. Most Foreign companies already investing in Ethiopia’s mining sector came from all over the world including the UK, China, South Africa, Canada, USA, Guyana, Italy and Norway
The mineral resources of Ethiopia are yet untouched and so the country has sufficient potential to accommodate the interest of so many other investors.