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Ministry Touts Increased Gold Sales

 

 

The Ministry of Mines (MoM) announced that it has sold 3,942.2kg of gold to the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE), and has exported jewellery and tantalum worth 171.7 million dollars.

This feat, performed in an eight-month period from September 2010 to the present, led the ministry to revise its yearly budgetary plan on March 17, 2011, at a meeting held at the Hilton Addis.

The MoM planned to sell 2,703.2kg of gold to NBE, and planned to export 3,104kg of jewellery and 43tn of tantalum during this eight-month period. It sold 3,942.2kg and 6,312.4kg of gold and jewellery, respectively, and 85.6tn of tantalum.

Currently, there are five major regions involved gold mining. These are Tigray, Oromia, Benishangul, Gambella, and Southern regional states, with Amhara Regional State as a new comer.
Accordingly, Oromia (1,562kg), Tigray (886.8kg), and Benishangul (687kg) have become the top three gold producers during these last eight months.

The NBE adds five per cent over the international market price when it buys gold, which positively affects the performance of the ministry as it discourages black market trade and smuggling, according to Tamrat Mojo, a traditional mines manufacturing and transaction process owner told at the meeting.

The fact that the geology tests started being conducted at the bank itself has also contributed to the success, he added.

However, the regional representatives who attended the meeting were complaining that the NBE delays in effecting payments within a reasonable period of time, which also affects the traditional gold manufactures because it is inconvenient for them to carry the gold for two or more days.

The NBE has established an independent unit responsible for gold transactions in September 2010, which increased its performance, so it will be adjusted over time, Girma Mengistu, a representative from the NBE responded at the meeting.

The NBE should think of increasing the human resources at its disposal as the number of transactions increase, Tamrat told Fortune.

By Mahlet Mesfin
Fortune Staff Writer

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