November 8, 2011

Ethiopia suspends exploration licenses

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 8:47 pm

Ethiopia is suspending the issuing of exploration licenses to both foreign and local mining companies following a sudden influx of applications.


The Ministry of Mines said the increasing number of mining companies seeking licenses in the country had seen government geologists leaving their jobs to join the private sector.

Officials also said the government wanted to investigate if companies granted licenses had started operations before allowing more to join the expanding sector.

“We need to check their performance before going to issue another license to other companies,” an official who requested to remain anonymous said.

A number of foreign and local companies with over US$ 5 billion investment are involved in mining in Ethiopia, especially in gold and oil sectors as well as gas exploration.

It is not yet clear when the government will resume the issuing of new licenses.

Government announced recently that it issued licenses to about five exploration companies every month and most of them were involved in gold extraction.

The ministry is expected to revoke the licenses of companies who have failed to begin operating in the stipulated time margin.

Government say more than 100 companies had been issued with about 200 exploration licenses.


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