One of the fastest rising sectors in Djibouti’s economy is the mining industry. In the past, the World Bank and the African Development Bank reports had indicated that the mining industry contributes about 1% to 3% of the country’s economy, but this is about to change with the discovery of new minerals like gold in the country.
Gold exploration in this East African country started as early as the colonial period. Despite this early start there had been no tangible development in this sector till the 21st century. By 2010, gold was the main mineral being explored in this country. This was after traces of gold deposits were discovered in the volcanic rocks and soils of the country. With the discovery of gold deposits in the country, the nation’s economic focus turned to this precious metal.
The exploration started from the coastline moving inlands to the areas. Stratex International in partnership with Thani Ashanti Alliance Ltd started the gold exploration at that time. The Afar project as born as part of this exploration which involved looking for gold deposits Djiboutian region bordering eastern Ethiopia. As the Afar project commenced, six gold exploration licenses were issued to Stratex International.
Growth of the Gold Mining Industry in Djibouti
By 2013, the prospects for economically viable gold deposits in the nation became high. This lead to increased interest in the country’s gold deposit by major world gold industry players. As other gold exploration firms joined the race, Stratex International acquired two more gold exploration licenses. Currently the firm has 5 working exploration licenses.
A major achievement in this exploration came with the discovery of a substantial amount of gold deposits just three hours off the Djiboutian port. This intensified exploration efforts in other regions of the nation with volcanic deposits. Out of the eight regions Stratex International international was exploring, it has been able to identify two regions that are very promising in gold deposits.
Deccan Gold Mines Limited is one of the other major companies intrested in conducting gold exploration in Djibouti. This firm is one of India’s largest mineral exploration companies. It has formed a partnership with another Indian exploration company’s subsidiary Djibouti Exploration Ltd. This partnership will see to it that the two companies work together gold exploration in this nation. Exploration licenses for this two companies are being processed. Since they have not yet started exploration little can be said about them. But the entry of this two companies in Djibouti means that the country has a very high potential for gold production in the coming years.
Stratex International recently revealed that is plans to identify over 2 million ounces of this precious metal before it starts mining. This amount of gold at its project is valued to be roughly worth over $3 billion dollars at the current market prices. This company says that with the progress it has so far made in this East African country, it hopes to start its mining process in September 2016.
Stratex International also announced the the gold vent near the Djiboutian port will be the first to be mined. This is because of its easy accessibility and its promising potential. This firm also said that this will lay ground for infrastructural improvement so that mining equipment and machinery can easily be moved inland. The success of this mine is expected to greatly open up investment opportunities in the nation.