Ethiopia’s gold industry is currently dominated by small-scale artisanal miners, but Newmont Corp and Australia’s Allied Gold Corp are among the companies exploring for the precious metal in the Horn of Africa nation.
“People are starting to come in and it’s because the government is starting to transform itself very deliberately and openly from a sort of reluctant bride to a welcoming host and compliance checker.”
Official gold shipments in July and August totaled 700 kilograms (24,700 ounces), a more than fourfold increase from the year-earlier period.
Exports could climb further after the central bank boosted the prices it offers by more than the increase in spot gold since the beginning of June.
Nigeria plans to stem illegal gold exports worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year to boost the country’s foreign reserves.
Tanzania has introduced mineral trading centres which have taken artisanal minerals and reduced smuggling.
Ethiopia’s approach is generating interest from miners, according to Anagnostaras, who is also the chairperson of a 25-member industry group in the country.
The government aims to more than double the contribution of mining to 10 per cent of gross domestic product over the next decade.
Megado Gold, an exploration company listed in Australia, said it has five gold exploration assets in southern and western Ethiopia, while Canada’s Sun Peak Metals Corp is prospecting in the north of the country.