A modern mining geochemistry laboratory set to be put up in Ethiopia. The development plans follows a deal inked between the country’s Ministry of Mines with SGS, a renowned verification, testing, and Certification Company.
Construction of the facility is estimated to cost US $50million and is expected to be operational within a year. According Takele Uma, Minster of Mines, the facility will have a significant contribution in the development of the mining sector in Ethiopia.
Upon completion and operation, the laboratory will allow companies to get testing, verification, and certification in Ethiopia. The country is currently obliged to send their mineral samples abroad for testing and verification.
Mining in Ethiopia
Mining is important to the economy of Ethiopia as a diversification from agriculture. Currently, mining comprises only 1% of GDP. Gold, gemstones (diamonds and sapphires), and industrial minerals are important commodities for the country’s export-oriented growth strategy.
The country has deposits of coal, opal, gemstones, kaolin, iron ore, soda ash, and tantalum, but only gold is mined in significant quantities. In Salt extraction from salt beds in the Afar Depression, as well as from salt springs in Dire and Afder districts in the south, is only of internal importance and only a negligible amount is exported.
Despite a long mining history, dating back more than a millennium, commercial and large scale mining is still in its early stages in Ethiopia. The mining industry is a sector with significant potential for the economy.
Ethiopia’s virtually untapped, diverse and vast mineral resources offer huge potential opportunities for exploration and development. This potential coupled with improving government policies and regulations means Ethiopia is fast becoming a destination of choice for international mining investors and developers.