RUSSIAN companies have picked up their activity levels in Eritrea in terms of mineral exploration. At the end of August last year, a subsidiary of Gazprombank (GPB) (RTS: GZPR), Ketina Mining, registered in Eritrea in order to study potential gold and copper mining projects.
The company later entered into a joint venture with Eritrean State mining company ENAMCO to become the first Russian-Eritrean Mining Share Company.
Ketina Mining Share Company holds an area of 1000 km2 exploration license in Gash Barka region, Molki sub region. The area is located South-West of Asmara.
Basement rock in Eritrea covers more than 60% of the surface of the country.
The basement rock of Eritrea is the part of the Arabian Nubian Shield (ANS) which is exposed in north east Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia) and in Saudi Arabia, northern and north-western part of Yemen and a part of the western Middle East.
Significant part of the basement consists of metavulcanics and meta sediment which are continental-marginal and juvenile intraoceanic magmatic-arc rocks.
Ketina license area is located within Precambrian Tsaliet Group which consists of Andesite lavas and tuffs, tuffaceous slates, grewackes, chlorite schists, graphitic rocks, intermediate metavulcanics.
Ketina Mining Share Company is focused on the discovery of gold and base metals deposits.
During the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2014, airborne aeromagnetic survey was conducted. Starting from May, exploration program operations were successfully launched on the ground. After interpretation of AMS data as well as of geochemical sample analysis, the company has recently updated its work program for year 2014-2015.
Exploration Carried out by Ketina Mining Share Company to-date are:
> AMS conducted
> Set up of field camp, personnel and equipment
> Prospect geological mapping
> Regional geological mapping
> Rock chip sampling program
> Regional stream sediment
Mr. Dimitry Shtreys is the General Manager of Ketina Mining Share Company in Eritrea.
Eritrea and Russia in recent times signed several projects to boost trade and investment. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, during a press briefing following the February agreement disclosed his country’s growing interest to invest in Eritrea:
“Russian companies are interested in implementing a number of investment projects in Eritrea. Our partners have confirmed that they are ready to create favorable conditions for Russian business … we are interested in the renewal of trade relations between our countries at a new level.“
Investment in Eritrea’s nascent but hugely promising extractive industry also attracts investment projects from China, UK, Australia and Canada.
(Additional reference Eritrea Mining Journal 2014)