Archive for March 4, 2010
By Barry Malone
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Ethiopia made $47 million from gold and tantalum exports in the first half of its financial year, the ministry for mines and energy told Reuters on Wednesday.
“Most of the money was made by Midroc Gold Co., which earned $40 million from exports,” spokesman for the ministry, Bacha Fuji, said.
Midroc is owned by Ethiopian-born Saudi business tycoon Sheik Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi.
Tantalum exports by the state-owned Ethiopian Mines Development Share Association, earned more than $4 million, Bacha said. Tantalum is used in consumer electronic products.
The rest of the money was made by the country’s national bank from exporting gold found by artisan miners.
The Horn of Africa country is offering exploration licenses to foreign firms interested in mining unexploited gold reserves.
Mines and energy minister, Alemayehu Tegenu, told Reuters in November the country had signed agreements with Midroc and Britain’s Golden Prospecting Mining Co. to extract an estimated 43 tonnes of recoverable gold over the next 11 years.
The Ethiopian government says it has identified possible reserves of up to 500 tonnes in different regions.
The country made $105 million last year from gold exports, the ministry says.
Ethiopia has made $450.5 million from about 48 tonnes of gold exports in the last 10 years, according to the National Bank of Ethiopia.
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