Mining expo to be held in Addis Ababa
- Lack off organized mineral market impairs the sector
Ethio-Mining Expo PLC in collaboration with the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas is organizing an international mining conference and exhibition to be held at the Addis Ababa Millennium Hall.
The organizers told a press conference that 75 local and foreign mining firms and mining equipment and machineries suppliers will participate in the Ethio-Mining International Expo.
Communication director with the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Gas (MMPNG) Bacha Faji said that Ethiopia is endowed with various minerals and there was the need to promote these natural resources. Bacha said the Ethiopian government has set out a direction that encourages investors to engage in the mining sector.
“It is not the government that develops minerals deposits. The government believes that mines should be developed by the private sector hence we need to promote the mining potential of the country,” Bacha told local reporters. He said that the upcoming mining conference and exhibition is a good opportunity to promote the existing minerals deposits and to network investors.
According to Bacha, on the sidelines of the mining expo scholars would present papers and panel discussions will be held. “Senior geologists from Ethiopian and foreign universities as well as international mining firms would present dozens of papers so it will be a golden opportunity for our university students and geologists to share experiences in the field.”
Girmay Tefera, CEO of Ethio-Mining Expo, said that the main objective of the Ethio-Mining International Expo is to promote the mineral potential of the country to global and local investors. Girmay said the mining expo will be a good venue for gemstone and jewellery producers and buyers to meet and network. He also said that several mining machinery manufacturers and dealers would partake in the exhibition.
Companies who are in exploration and processing stage would participate at the exhibition. “We will create a market linkage for opal, sapphire and emerald producers. It will be a venue for producers and buyers to meet up and discuss,” Girmay said.
He also said that the absence of an organized mineral market is impairs producers not to get premium prices for their products. “This is hampering the growth of the sector. The Ethio-Mining Expo will be an ideal plat form to find new markets.”
According to the organizers, many international and local mining firms are invited to participate in the mining expo. Seventy five local and foreign mining firms and mining machinery suppliers are expected to partake at the mining conference and exhibition.
This is for the first time when Ethio-Mining Expo PLC, a local company established by two entrepreneurs, Girmay Tefera and Shewit Hafte, three years ago to organize the mining expo. The organizers said the mining expo will be an annual event.
There are more than 300 licenses mining companies in Ethiopia, the majority of them in the exploration stage. In the heydays, Ethiopia used to rip more than 600 million dollars annually from mineral exports but this has nosedived to 230 million dollars in due to the global commodity market crash. According to Bacha, the soaring illicit gold trade has greatly contributed to the falling foreign currency earnings.