Eritrea looks to build mining sector to kick-start economy

March 01, 2016 Eritrea recently took steps to explore its mining sector in a bid to jumpstart its economy. However its hopes of having four running mines by 2018 had been blocked by the fall in commodities prices and accusations of conscripted labor.

The country’s artisanal miners have long scratched for gold nuggets on deposits that stretch along the Red Sea; however the country currently has just one working commercial mine.

Speaking on the condition of the industry, Alem Kibreab, director-general of the Department of Mines said:

“At the moment we have one working mine and the first quarter of this year – 2016 we will have a second mine, which is a gold mine Zara Mining Share Company and we will have two on the pipeline also, which I think will be operational in 2018. One will be similar to Bisha, producing gold, copper and Zinc which is in VMS (Volcanic Massive Sulfide) deposits and the other is a different material, it is going to produce potash,”

The government of Eritrea has long insisted that the threat from Ethiopia, from which it won independence in 1991, is making investors wary.

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