The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines says the nation’s mineral industry has garnered US$ 172.6 million dollars in revenues in the first half of this budget year.
This represents a significant decrease in earnings of the sector, from about US$ 288 million dollars in the first six months of the last budgetary year.
According to a report by Walto Information Center, which quotes Bacha Faji, public relations head for the Ministry of Mines, the turnover is from exporting gold, marble, tantalum and gemstones.
Bacha revealed that the ministry failed to reach its target of US$ 1 billion dollars due to the worldwide slump in gold prices and the inability to attract more investors into the sector.Despite boasting bountiful reserves of many naturally occurring minerals, Ethiopia’s mining industry has grown at a very slow pace. For decades, gold was the highest earner in the industry. However, in the last 10 years, revenue from exporting other minerals has helped to increase Ethiopia’s net income from mining, although the industry seconds agriculture as the primary source of national income.