A digital trading platform set to simplify trading gemstone minerals such as opals, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires came live by the Ethiopian Minerals Corporation last week at Sheraton Hotel on Taitu Street. Dubbed "EthiopianMinerals.com", the platform aims to provide a secure online marketplace where buyers around the world can browse through the collection of gemstones identifying the characteristics, grading and origin through the digital platform. The state-owned mining operator, formerly known as Ethiopian Mineral and Bio-fuel Corporation, was re-established with 4.17 billion Br paid-up capital by the Council of Ministers three years ago. The system was developed by Eaglion System Technology Plc, partnering with Dashen Bank. It supports MasterCard's gateway as a payment system while EthioPost covers the logistics. According to Rahel Getachew, CEO of the Corporation, the system hoped to bring transparency and convenience where the industry had 'struggled' with inefficiencies for far too long. Gold exports significantly declined last year, meeting only 35pc of the intended target, mainly due to the rise in illegal contraband trade by foreign actors, according to the Ministry of Mines.
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