The Ministry of Mines is to confer with mining companies engaged in the exploration and production of minerals on the overall performance of the mining sector.
Senior officials of the ministry and executives of mining companies will meet at the Ghion Hotel on Tuesday and deliberate on the performance of the mining sector. A senior official at the ministry told The Reporter that the ministry is ready to discuss the bottlenecks that mining companies are facing.
The mining sector is becoming the major foreign currency earner next to coffee, Ethiopia's number one export item. Ethiopia annually earns more than 600 million dollars from the export of minerals and gold takes the lion's share. Tantalum and gemstones are among the list of exportable minerals. Artisanal miners are contributing a significant share to the mineral export. The country will soon become a major potash exporter.
In related news, the Minister of Mines Sinknesh Ejigu, on Wednesday has been appointed as new Ethiopian Ambassador. Sinkenesh, a chemist by profession, served the ministry for more than 20 years. She served the ministry as state minister for the past ten years. Tolossa Shagi Moti, the state minister of Mines, is expected to replace Sinkenesh as minister. It is not yet known who will fill Tolosa's position.
However, sources close to the ministry told The Reporter that Dr. Tarekegn Tadesse, president of the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University would be appointed state minister. The Reporter was unable to confirm Dr. Tarekegn's appointment.