Jul 08, 2011

Somaliland: Natural Resources Exported to Eager European Markets

Rich in minerals and gypsum deposits, Somaliland utilizes natural resources to help jumpstart its economy and create a positive international perception of the developing nation.

Below is an article published by Ramaas News:

It is two decades since Somaliland got its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991. Somaliland has undergone a path of social, political and economic home-grown reconstruction. Since Somaliland regained its independence from the rest of Somalia there has not being a meaningful export of natural resources of Somaliland such as precious stones or minerals. Somaliland is rich in minerals, has one of world’s largest gypsum deposits and has clean coastline of 850 km, which are all important investment opportunities.

Tonnes of a very important mineral by the name of Columbite-Tantalite were officially exported at Berbera port at the end of last month [June 2011]. The mineral will have a ready market in Italy and elsewhere in Europe. This was made possible by the collaboration between the Athena srl Italy and the president of Ruby General Trading Company (local company), an expert in geology and minerals, Mr. Abdirahman Hersi Warsame. Abdirahman explains the importance of this mineral “Columbite Tantalite is very useful in many industrial fields, and is normally used for electronic industry and for new technology uses.” Abdirahman met an Italian businessman Dr. Gianni Dormi and both decided to invest in the exploitation of Somaliland minerals. Dr. Dormi is the President of an Italian international company, Athena srl based in Florence and in Southern Tuscany (Maremma). As stated by Abdirahman Hersi, he met Dr. Dormi the first time in Italy where they had an important meeting about the investment opportunities in Somaliland, especially the exploitation of Somaliland’s rich mineral resources in order to encourage local export.

On the other hand, Somaliland is always put in the big picture of violence, Al-shabaab and piracy in Somalia by the international media. “Such efforts will wash away the propaganda against Somaliland spread by the international media” Abdirahman added. Dr.Gianni Dormi showed his interest in investing in Somaliland, not only in mineral resources but in many other important areas such as the food industry and to bring cheap Photovoltaic domestic systems for energy production, water domestic depurator etc. and is ready to take his part of any kind of help Somaliland people would require to develop economically.

The potential mineral resources, fishing, forestry, agriculture and tourist opportunities of the mountain ranges are hardly exploited as a result of lack of transport infrastructure. Gemstones and industrial minerals which are abundant in Somaliland include any kind of gemstones like Emerald, Sapphire, Ruby, Aquamarine, Opal and any kind of Garnet. There are also plenty of other minerals in Somaliland such as industrial minerals like iron ore, Titanium, Aluminium, Tungsten, Tin, Galena and other rare earth metals like Columbite Tantalite, Molybdenum and many other rare minerals which are only found few places in the world.

The first shipment of this project mainly focused on sending officially several tones of Columbite Tantalite from Berbera port to Europe, especially to Italy. Abdurrahman who was explaining this success thanked the government of Somaliland for their cooperation and facilitation. The government has made a huge contribution to make this project successful; they exempted taxes which was the important part.”