Eritrea moves forward with second mine within country
The second gold mine is expected to open in Eritrea within the next several years, as an 18-year mining license is expected to be given to a mining firm by officials from the government of the nation, according to Mineweb.
Though several exploration projects exist in the country, and mining is expected to increase due to foreign influence, the young industry in Eritrea has taken years to develop, despite the vast deposits that have been projected to exist within the borders, the news source reported.
According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the country had required permits and licenses for companies that were looking to capitalize on exploration trends within the borders, but these policies have been relaxed in recent years.
The USGS reported that exploration activities that were conducted throughout the country in recent years have identified significant reserves of base and precious metals. More than 20 mining companies were involved in projects around Eritrea in 2010.
According to the organization, the exploration trends are likely to continue due to the proximity of the nation to Europe and the Middle East, and the vast resources that have been estimated to exist there.
Gold discovery at Zara has led to an influx of mining license applications from companies that are looking to explore within that region, the USGS reported.
The country's first industrial-scale mine only hit commercial production in early 2011, but if the development of the second mine goes according to plan, several other operations could commence in the next several years, Mineweb reported.
Mining Weekly reported that the Eritrean government could begin to issue a significant number of permits in order to spur development within the East African nation, and to capitalize on the current commodity prices trends.
Officials from the mining firm noted that they have worked closely with the government to develop the site, and production could be expedited with help from the local population.
"We look forward to financing the Koka gold mine and starting construction in the first part of next year," a chairman for the firm said in a statement. "Together with our Eritrean partners, we hope to have a significant positive impact on the Eritrean economy and workforce."
Proactive investors reported that the mine had a probable reserve of some 760,000 ounces of graded gold.