Ethiopia cancels 27 mining licences in push for development

An excavator clears away top soil layers to create an open pit for artisanal miners to dig for cobalt at a freshly excavated site at the Kasulo township in Kolwezi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. So-called artisanal mining is as commonplace as farming in many parts of Congo. Photographer: William Clowes/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ethiopia has cancelled 27 mining licences, sending a warning to three companies, the mines ministry said Friday, in a move by the government to look to spur production.

The ministry said in a statement that, “Following a re-investigation, 27 mining companies that had been licensed to operate in the mining sector but failed to enter into operation have had their licenses revoked and three miners have been immediately warned to correct their mistakes.”

According to mines minster Takele Uma, the licences will be opened up to international tender.

93 mining licences have been canceled by the government including 63 that were revoked in December.

Ethiopia has been pushing to develop its mineral and metal resources, citing mining as a key sector in its economic reform agenda.

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