Ethiopia beckons Indian firms to invest on mining sector

Ethiopia beckons Indian firms to invest on mining sector

"I would like to invite you all to invest in the mining industry of Ethiopia for the mutual benefit," Ethiopian Mines Minister Sinkinesh Ejigu said at a function organised by Ficci here.

Stating that Ethiopia's mineral and geo-energy resources were yet untouched and unexplored, she said, adding that this provides sufficient potential to accommodate the interest of investors.

"My ministry is committed to assist all developmental partners interested to take part in the investment of the mining sector," Ejigu said. Spread across 1.1 million sq km area with a population of about 80 million, Ethiopia has created a conducive environment to ensure and promote private investment in the mining sector, which has the potential to play a big role in the development of the national economy.

"About 84 local and foreign mining firms are currently carrying out mineral exploration and mining operations in different parts of the country. The scale of exploration and mining operations, however, are very low despite the favourable geological environment for mineral potentials," she added.

The mineral and petroleum explorations conducted so far on limited parts of the country have come up with significant discoveries and reserves of gold, platinum, tantalum, potash, phosphorus, iron, salt, coal, geothermal and natural gas in different parts of the country.

Around 376 million tonnes coal reserve is estimated in Ethiopia. The coal deposits range from lignite to bituminous. The country has the potential to generate more than 5,000 MW from its geothermal energy resource where only 7.3 MW power is being produced at a pilot plant, she added.