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The Ministry of Mines (MoM) says it will generate USD 849 million from mining activities this fiscal year 2012/13.
This is the halfway mark of the ambitious five year Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) and as a result budgets are being given special attention.
The projected mining revenue is around 29 percent more than what the MoM had achieved during the last fiscal year 2011/12 which was USD 654 million. Traditionally mined minerals accounted for about USD 455 million of earnings. The ministry also gave 53 mining exploration and sampling licenses and eight mining production licenses to companies with a total registered capital of 1.3 billion birr.
One controversy that happened last fiscal year was the revoking of a license given to Hong Kong, China based Petrotrans Company for the development of prospective gas fields in the Somali regional state.
Other companies that featured in the report were Tullow in Ethiopia which prepared seismic information for petroleum exploration and studied the South Omo area. South West Energy Company and MoM are also exploring for oil in western Ethiopia’s Gambella basin.
Artisanal mining is expected to bring in an impressive 70.7 percent of the revenue share or just above USD 600 million which is projected to come from the supply of 13,200Kg to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) and by selling 18,000Kg of artisanal mined minerals.
One of the most pressing tasks of MoM this year will be to provide 10 mining production licenses to companies and investors thereby increasing the investment level in the sector by 2.55 billion birr.
However perhaps the most sensitive part of the mining sector has been petroleum investment, only one petroleum license is planned during the fiscal year, pushing the petroleum investment by USD 100 million while adding petroleum related revenues to about USD 2.7 million.
MoM’s main task in this regard will be the supervision of companies which have taken petroleum exploration and production licenses.