The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum has issued mineral exploration licenses to seven companies.
The licenses, which were given today to local and foreign firms, are valid for a period of three years, according to Kiros Alemayehu, a senior public relations expert at the ministry.
The companies have issued the licenses to engage in the exploration of gemstone, gold, iron ore, potash, coal and other minerals in Tigray, Afar and Amhara regional states, Kiros told FBC today.
According to him, companies are expected to create employment opportunities for 138 people during exploration.
The companies were recruited based on their capital and their contracts are open for extension depending on their performance, he added.
The companies are expected to invest a total of 90 million birr over the past three year.