When Minister of Mines, Sinkinesh Ejigu, presented her ministry’s 10 month performance report to the House of Peoples representatives last Thursday she announced almost 150 million dollars more profit than the year before.
The USD 541.3 million the country earned largely came from exports of gold, USD 368 million, with service charges and fees making up a large part of the remaining amount. The ministry collected close to USD 157 million birr in royalty fees on gold, industrial minerals and geological services while more than USD 16 million came from landlease, signature fees and training from companies currently exploring for oil.
The ministry’s plan for the reported period was to export 13,200Kg of gold, 18,000Kg of artesian minerals, and 125tns of tantalum. In reality only 6,786Kg of gold was exported, earning the country USD 368.4 million. Still Ethiopia exported 13,682Kg of artesian minerals and 155ts of tantalum cashing in 14 million dollars.
Meanwhile as compared to the previous year, gold export has increased by 971Kg and export revenue by USD 125 million. 350 grams of platinum was also exported, which brought in USD 18,000.
Ethiopia’s eighty year search for oil may finally be striking gold as Petronas, South West Energy, Tullow Oil, Africa oil and Fulkan Petroleum are searching for oil throughout the nation. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi publicly hinted a possible oil discovery in the near future when he addressed the Ethiopian Investment Summit held on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum early last month.