Ethiopia withdraws licences for 27 mining sites
Ethiopia has reportedly cancelled the licences of 27 mines that remain inactive, as part of its efforts to boost production. Including the cancellation of 63 permits in December last year, the total mining licences revoked by the East African nation has now reached 90.
In the latest move, the country has also issued warning to three companies holding the licences.
The Ethiopian mines ministry was quoted by Reuters as saying: “Following a re-investigation, 27 mining companies that had been licensed to operate in the mining sector but failed to enter operation have had their licenses revoked and three miners have been immediately warned to correct their mistakes.”
Ethiopian mines minister Takele Uma told the news agency that the cancelled licences will be made available for international tender.
Outlining mining as a major sector in its economic reform agenda, Ethiopia is advancing plans to develop its mineral and metal resources. In December last year, the government approved a 10-year economic plan to increase foreign-exchange earnings to $17bn by 2030 from $265m.
It is targeted to achieve through export and import substitution of minerals, Mining.com reported.
In May 2019, Canadian mineral exploration company East Africa Metals secured approval for licences for the Mato Bula Gold Copper and Da Tambuk Gold Deposits in Ethiopia. The Mato Bula Gold Copper project is estimated to have an average annual metal production of 34,750 ounces of gold, 1.67m pounds of copper and 4,780 ounces of silver. The Da Tambuk Gold Deposit is capable of producing an average metal production of 24,000 ounces of gold per year and 6,000 ounces of silver per year.