Nation Set to Substitute Coal Import Within Year: Ministry of Mines

Addis Ababa, March 7/2022/ENA/  Ministry of Mines disclosed that works are well underway to enhance the domestic production of coal with a view to realizing import substitution of the mineral within one year.

Speaking with ENA, State Minister of Mines, Million Matheos, said currently, coal imports from different countries cost Ethiopia 275 million USD annually.

However, according to him, up until now the estimated coal reserve of the country is over 600 million tons. The ministry is confident that with further exploration, the reserve could be much more than this, he added.

Kemashi in Benishangul , Moye, Yayu and Arjo in Oromia, Chida and Saula in the South West Ethiopia, Mush valley and Chilga in Amhara Regional States are some of the areas that are rich in coal reserve in the country, the State Minister said.

According to him, currently eight companies are licensed to develop the resources in various parts of the country and are in different stages of production and preparation.

The ministry is working to enhance the domestic production of coal with a view to realizing  import substitution within one year, he stated.  

Mining is designated as a key pillar in the government’s 10 years perspective plans of development agenda along with agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and ICT, Million noted.

“The mining sector is among the five key pillars of the country's development strategy over the next 10 years. It means the government has designated those sectors to ensure development and prosperity for the nation. The mining sector is among the main pillars for the development of the country,” he underlined.  

Ethiopia is endowed with various minerals that can support the country’s economic development needs, including gemstones, ornamental, metals, metallic minerals, gold, potash, tantalum, marble, natural gas and other natural resources too, he said.

Ethiopia also possesses millions of tons of iron ore deposit in various parts of the country, which he said is a vital element for the development of industry and the manufacturing of steel.

He said efforts are also well underway to substitute imported billets for the steel industry with locally produced iron ore.

The government is working to see iron ore production in Ethiopia within the next three years, he noted.  

The state minister said over 510 tons of gold reserve are ready for development in various parts of the country, noting that gold reserve in the country is estimated to be 19,644 tons.

Ethiopian News Agency