International mining firms want to join Ambo Nyemer, the under formation share company, to explore and extract gold in the western part of the country.
The under formation company, will be the first Ethiopian firm to invest in mechanized gold production. It began floating public shares in late September.
The company is investing in 128,000hct of land located in Oromia Regional State in Ginde Beret Wereda of West Shoa Zone and Hore Guduru Welega Zone. In the middle of the year the company obtained a license from the Ministry of Mines to explore and develop gold deposits in the same area.
Sources told Capital that about three foreign based mining firms are interested in joining with the local company to invest in gold mining. This will be Ambo Nyemer’s first project. Two of the three are from Canada and China, they said.
Niguse Gedeffa, marketing head of Ambo Nyemer, confirmed the potential joint venture, but he declined to disclose the name of the companies.
“Things are still in the early stages, so it is too soon to discuss that,” he told Capital. According to sources, the Canadian company is highly motivated and eager to join the local company.
Sources disclosed that the Canadian company, who already entered the country to mine gold, is willing to cover the entire cost in order to have a share in profits.
According to sources at the share company, the deal between the two parties is still in the negotiation phase.
The gold exploration area was identified three years ago by Oromia Mining Bureau. There was no gold mining earlier because the mining bureau had not identified any gold deposit yet. Now farmers in the area have been extracting 24 karat gold (the highest purity of gold) though traditional mining. They have even begun supplying the National Bank of Ethiopia with about 10Kg of gold per month.
Since the share company floated the share sales it has sold 10 million birr worth of shares to the public from a total of two million shares. Each share is valued at one thousand birr.
Based on the company’s plan gold exploration work will commence in the fiscal year on 21,000hct of land allocated for gold development from the total of 128,000hct.
According to Niguse the company will also undertake a detailed feasibility study for cement production, which will be the second phase of the total project. The area is also identified as having an enormous limestone deposit which is a major ingredient of cement production.
The company’s plans include a cement and sugar factory, animal husbandry, poultry farming and mineral development hence making its focus agro industry.