Ethiopian Press Agency (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Govt Set to Approve Gold Mining Licence

Addis Ababa — Ethiopia is set to approve a mining licence for Nyota Minerals Ltd. to develop the Tulu Kapi gold deposit, Mines Minister Sinknesh Ejigu said.

"We have agreed on the technical and environment terms and we are finalizing the economics," Sinknesh said in a phone interview from the capital, Addis Ababa. "At the end of the day, they will get the mining licence."

The project in western Ethiopia 500-kms west of Addis Ababa, contains an estimated 1.87 million ounces of gold, according to the website of Nyota, whose shares trade on exchanges in the U.K. and Australia.

Ethiopia, Africa's largest coffee producer, is diversifying its economy by encouraging investment in mining and manufacturing.

Revenue from gold exports jumped 32 per cent to 602 million USD in the 2011-12 fiscal year from the same period a year earlier, according to Access Capital, an Addis Ababa-based research company.

Meanwhile, Traditional gold miners in two woredas of Benchimaji Zone secured over 177.2 million birr revenue from supply of over 211 kg of gold to the Central Bank in the past three months, the Zonal water and energy department said. Department Expert Tessema Shari told ENA that the stated amount of gold was mined in Siali, Gebisa Shola, Gesena and Anjo kebels of Berona and Surma woredas.

He said the stated sum exceeded that of last year same time by over 47.2 million birr. The expert attributed the increment to technical assistance provided to miners and legalization of the activities of gold miners, among others. He said over 80 vendors and over 50,000 labourers have benefited from the mining activity. The expert said efforts are underway to mine one quintal of gold valued at over 840 million birr in this Ethiopian fiscal year.

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