Gold explorer Akobo Minerals has applied for a large-scale gold mining licence following ongoing successful drilling and a high-grade mineral resource delineation at the Segele project, in Ethiopia, which the miner says supports its view that mining “will be an important and integral part of the company’s future”.
Ethiopian Mines and Petroleum Minister Takele Uma confirms that the Ministry is cooperating with Akobo to finalise the mining licence next week.
The mining licence area applied for covers a large part of the company’s existing exploration licence.
A large-scale mining licence is normally granted for an initial period of 20 years, then for an additional ten years.
The granting of the mining licence will secure a long-term operation for the next 20 years and the opportunity to continue exploration work as Akobo starts preparations for mining operations.
Typically mining licences include obligations on the company to pay royalties, taxes, support local communities and undertake environment, social and governance programmes – all of which are already within the company plan.
CEO Jørgen Evjen on September 8 said that, even though the application is for large-scale mining, the current plan to use small-scale mining techniques remains valid.
“A large-scale mining licence provides more flexibility in yearly tonnage mined, and the length of the mining licence period is double that of a small-scale mining licence,” he noted.