Ethiopia: The Ministry of Mines (MoM) has granted a mining license to Habesha Cement for the excavation of minerals for the company's cement production.
The contract allows Habesha to mine limestone, gypsum, clay and sandstone from 1.12km2 of land in the West Shoa Zone, Oromia Region, at four different locations. The mining operations will be undertaken with a capital of US$1.38m. The land that Habesha requested for pumice is reserved for forestation and wildlife development and it has asked for a replacement.
The mines will provide raw materials for the Habesha cement plant, which will have a production capacity of 1.4Mt/yr of cement. The company is expected to begin production in November 2015.
The mining contract will be valid for 60 years, until the minerals are fully excavated. Habesha is expected to produce over 100Mt of limestone in that time. When the company starts cement production, it is expected to use 1.1Mt/yr of limestone, 70,000t/yr of gypsum, 288,000t/yr of clay, 72,000t/yr of sandstone and 450,000t/yr of pumice.
"To get the approval, we conducted a feasibility study and environmental assessment on the areas and paid US$1.55m as compensation to the former owners of the land," said Mesfin Abi, CEO of Habesha.
Habesha Cement was established in September 2008 by 30 shareholders with an initial capital of US$30,671. Construction of the cement plant, which will cost US$120m, is underway in Beketa and Koro Odo Kebele, Oromia Region, Ethiopia.