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Midroc Gold Mine Plc is asking for an additional impact study at its gold mine in Lega Dembi. They want it to include the area surrounding the gold mine and to be expedited within the shortest period possible.
The company is currently the only major high scale precious metal producer in Ethiopia. However the company suspended production after its license was revoked two weeks back.
Residents in the area complain that the mining negatively impacts human and animal health. The company stated that it is using the chemical, called cyanide, which is used for gold mining worldwide, and added that the chemical is proven that it does not have any effect in the environment.
In the statement that the company sent to Capital, it stated that it wrote a letter to the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Gas (MMPNG) saying it attempted to the public’s attention that the use of cyanide does not have a negative impact on the health of babies and mothers.
A few weeks ago the ministry placed a temporary suspension on mining to conduct additional studies on its impact.
The statement that the company sent to Capital indicated that Midroc Gold expressed its desire for the study to include the areas outside the mining location.
“The company has accordingly complied with the order of MMPNG by stopping its production activities and has requested the ministry to expedite the additional study,” the statement that the company sent to Capital explained.
“Every single day without production has a negative effect on the country’s foreign currency earnings,” the company said.
It has also elaborated that considering the negative impact and the financial loss each unproductive day hinders the moral of the workers. “Mirdoc Gold Mine requested the relevant ministry to conclude the study being undertaken in the shortest period possible,” it added.
Midroc Gold Mine is a company under Midroc Group, one of the groups that the billionaire Sheik Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-Amoudi owns.
Currently, Ethiopia has a single large-scale gold mine, the Midroc Gold Mine at Lega Dembi, Shakisso, Oromia Regional State, which is an operating open pit mine in Ethiopia.
The mine was privatized and awarded to Midroc Ethiopia in 1997. A mining license was awarded and a new company – Midroc Legadembi Gold Mine Share Company (Midroc Gold) commenced production in August 1998. The Lega Dembi deposit is the largest gold producer in Ethiopia.