Sub-Sahara Mining & Industrial Journal

Akobo Minerals gears up for gold production start-up with opening of rural airstrip

Euronext-listed Akobo Minerals, the Scandinavian-based Ethiopian gold exploration and mining company, has announced details of the first ever flight to land at a new airstrip which it has funded and built in Dima.

The Super King Air 350 twin-turboprop aircraft carried representatives from Akobo Minerals and the Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority and marks milestone in major civil engineering projects to benefit both the local community and the growing gold mining business.

Akobo is focusing on two projects – Segele and Joru – in south-western Ethiopia, a prolific area with extensive alluvial gold production. The company is confident of pouring first gold from its flagship project. Segele, in Q4, 2022.

Built over the course of just 70 days for design, approval and construction, the 1 100 m long airstrip lies only a couple of kilometres from Akobo Minerals’ mining operation and can accommodate aircraft carrying up to 40 passengers.

It will allow the company to bring in goods and personnel more effectively, allow for any medical evacuation and, not least, provide a secure transportation route of gold to Addis Ababa prior to onward distribution to international buyers once gold production commences in a few months. Until now, the nearest airstrip has been located in Jima, at least a six-hour journey by road.

Jørgen Evjen, CEO of Akobo Minerals, stated, “The opening of our own airstrip is an important landmark for the company and is a clear indication of our capabilities when it comes to major engineering projects as we seek build out our new mining operation.

“The airstrip is also a significant part of our ongoing ESG programme as it will also mean access for the local community to important services that the region has never seen before – from a reduction in travel times to access to deliveries of goods and emergency medical assistance. I am sure that the landing of this aircraft will be remembered for many years to come as it marks a huge milestone for the opportunities now available to the local population.”

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