The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum is planning to build a gold refinery plant that refines locally produced gold.
Eng. Takele Uma, Minister of Mines and Petroleum, told local reporters that the ministry is holding talks with a company that would build the gold refinery plant. Takele said the gold refinery would process locally produced gold by artisanal miners making it ready for export.
Ethiopia’s gold export registered a record high revenue of 600 million USD last year. Gold is produced in five regional states by traditional miners. MIDROC Gold and Ezana Mining are the only two large scale gold miners in the country. So far MIDROC Gold is the only mining firm that operates a gold refinery. Ethiopia exports its gold to Switzerland, U.A.E, Hong Kong and Turkey.
It is to be recalled that the ministry has revoked 970 mineral exploration and mining licenses last week. Takele said the country may not need many gold mining companies to achieve its targets. “We do not need many mining companies. Three or four big gold mining companies could be suffice to produce 30 tons of gold,” he told the local journalists.