By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media
The Norwegian company Abyssnia Resources Development is planning to begin recovery of gold in the Western part of Ethiopia within the period 2020-2021. The company is partially owned by Swedish Akobo Minerals AB and the project has a number of Norwegian and Swedish investors backing it. According to Hans Olav Torsen, the chairman and creator of Akobo Minerals, it can be a “mega-find”.
Akobo Minerals has around 20 Norwegian shareholders, who own 80% of the company’s wealth, alongside 3600 Swedish shareholders. Among the Norwegians, we have profiled investors like Tore Aksel Voldberg, Erik Haugane, and Reidar Charles F. Fougner. Along with Bjørn Anders Fossum, Torsen owns roughly 20%.
Since 2009, through the operating company Etno Mining, they have been looking at a concession area that is 36 square kilometers larger than Drammen Municipality. An estimated 4 billion kroner worth of gold is expected to be recovered within the first period, and although Torsen claims that the estimate is speculative, he adds that it is a conservative estimate.
By contrast, Ethiopia expects to receive only 1 billion kroner on mining exports in 2019. These numbers reveal clearly the Norwegian imperialism’s adventure in East Africa for the plundering raid that it is.
After several attacks against mines owned by imperialists in the past few years, the comprador state in Ethiopia has stepped up their defense of the imperialists and their economic interests. According to Dagens Nærlingsliv, Torsen reveals that several police stations have been established within the vicinity of the gold area.
Since 2015, Ethiopia has been characterized by massive waves of demonstrations. Several of these have been directed towards imperialist mining operations. The mining operations have a catastrophic influence on the ecological system in surrounding areas. Last year, the company MIDROC Gold Mine Plc was accused by the local population of having polluted the air and drinking water, which later led to birth defects, disabilities, and lung and airway diseases.
After over a week of intense upheavals, where the police and military killed several people, the comprador state was forced to bend to the demands of the masses and suspend the mining operation license of the company.
The article in Dagens Næringsliv also included comments from Jens Ulltveit-Moe, who, as the former chairman of Crew Gold Corporation, hunted after gold in Africa. In 2006, Crew Gold was named the year’s least ethical company by Framtiden i våre hender [The Future in Our Hands]. In 2017, three Norwegians were indicted on fraud charges for the sum of 188.2 million kroner in connection with shares in the company. Among them is Jan Vestrum, who has since been charged with corruption.