Al Amoudi’s business empire in Ethiopia started to face trouble as the license for Lege Dembi Gold Mine is suspended
May 9, 2018
After killing civilians for protesting the extension of Midroc’s Ethiopia’s Lege Dembi Gold mining license, the Ethiopian government is finally bowing to the demands of residents of Shakiso, where the gold mine is located.
The ministry of Minerals, Oil and Natural Gas announced today that it has suspended Midroc Ethiopia’s license for Lege Dembi Gold Mine.
A report by pro-government media, Fana, says that the suspension of the license came after residents’ “complaints” that the mining process is causing environmental pollution.
The suspension is conditional. The ministry of Minerals, Oil and Natural Gas is intending to undertake a study of environmental impact assessment of Lege Dembi Goldmine before extending the license of Midroc’s license to carry out gold mining.
Midroc, which belongs to Ethiopian born Saudi billionaire who is now in a maximum security prison in Saudi Arabi, initially got the license in 1998 at a cost of US $172 billion.
The Ethiopian government says that the environmental impact assessment will be carried out by an “independent body” in a way that involves stakeholders from federal to kebele (local) levels. And issuance or extension, in the case of Midroc Ethiopia, of a license to carry out the gold mining is predicated on the outcome of the impact assessment.
The report by Fana Broadcasting added that the ministry also intends to broaden the scope of impact assessment study but did not spell out what the new scope would include other than an increase in the number of samples to be taken for the impact assessment.
Residents of Shakiso in the restive Oromo region of Ethiopia have been complaining about environmental pollution due to the chemicals used in the course of gold mining and that they have been causing health hazards including birth defects.
There has been a relentless protest in the town of Shakiso for more than a week now against the extension of the license; about five people are reportedly killed during a clash between protestors and security forces deployed to quell down the protest.
Apart from environmental impacts, the government has been criticized for selling the license at a throwaway price.
The Ethiopian born Saudi billionaire is believed to have a business empire in Ethiopia worth over $2 billion dollars.
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