Once synonymous with famine, Ethiopia attracts $6.5 billion potash investments

2Merkato reports the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines announced that five international companies have invested $6.5 billion in the Ethiopia potash mining industry which is centred in the Dalol area, part of the Danakil Depression (pictured).

The five companies are G&B Central Africa Resource, Saynic Potash, Nova Potash, BHP Billiton and Toronto-listed Allana Potash. Allana has the backing of the World Bank and on Monday the company announced the latest in a string of high-grade discoveries at its 160 square km land position at Dalol.

2merkato.com reports with relatively shallow potash deposit Allana will consider open pit mining method in addition to solution mining with recovery through solar evaporation.

Allana’s promotion to the main board in Toronto has not been a happy one and the stock is down more than a fifth since moving its listing a month ago. It was trading down 6% at 93c on the TSX on Wednesday where it is worth $192 million. The stock is down from a $2.43 high hit in February, but still well above the levels it started 2011 at.

Farhad Abasov, President and CEO, commented on Monday’s drilling announcement: “This area continues to yield high grade potash in the Sylvinite and Kainitite zones which management believes will allow Allana to upgrade mineral resources from Inferred to Measured and Indicated categories as well as add to the Inferred category. The potash zones remain open to the north and northeast.”

Allana earlier in October appointed BNP Paribas as financial advisor for the arrangement and structuring of debt financing for project construction and on Tuesday said it has approval to issue 1,400,000 common share purchase warrants to BNP Paribas exercisable to acquire one common share of Allana at CAD $0.94.

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