Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

27 January 2013

Ethiopia: Ezana Setting Up U.S.$17.8 Million Gold Plant

Ezana Mining Development Plc is building a 17.8 million dollar gold plant in Tigray.

A turnkey contract has been awarded to Manhattan Corporation, a South African mining services provider, to build a carbon-in-leach (CIL) gold plant at Terakimti, in northern Tigray, near Shire Endaselassie Town. The company was selected two months ago from the four international companies that responded to Ezana's tender.

Manhattan's tasks include; design, engineering, procurement, shipment, construction, installation, implementation and after-sales skills development.

Ezana and the Ministry of Mines (MoM) signed an agreement three week ago, which enables Ezana to produce 2,017Kg of gold within two years, at an estimated cost of 393.7 million Br.

"The technology we will use in the gold plant is no different from the one MIDROC uses, at its Lega Dembi mine in Southern region," said a senior manager of Ezana, who asked for anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

Construction has already begun at the plant, which is scheduled to be operational by the end of this fiscal year.

Established in June 1993 with a capital of 14 million Br, Ezana is one of the sister companies in the Endowment Fund For Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT).

The company has been conducting mining exploration in the northern part of the country for the past 20 years, according to the senior manager. The company also explores for iron ores and supplies raw materials to sister company, Messebo Cement Factory, according to the official.

Ethiopia earned 654 million dollars from the export of minerals, including; gold, platinum, tantalum, decorative stones and gem stones, in 2011/12, according to data from the Ministry of Mines (MoM). This was largely accounted for by gold, of which 12tn was exported for a total of 602.4 million dollars. MIDROC Gold Mine Plc exported close to three tonnes of that total.

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