By Sam B.,
Mining is a booming business in Eritrea. Canada’s Nevsun Resources is operating a very successful mine in Eritrea and doing handsomely. China’s SFECO Group, which is operating the Zara Gold Project in Eritrea, is already commissioning and is expected to announce commercial production within a few weeks.
Yesterday Canaccord Genuity announced that it has upgraded Nevsun’s stocks to a buy. Moreover, the street is rife with rumors of another Canadian company, Sunridge Gold, which operates the Asmara Project, is about to be granted a mining license in Eritrea, and it expects to start mining by the end of this year or early next year.
Some politically motivated actors and self-anointed human right advocates accuse these companies and specially Nevsun of using “slave labor”. This is an accusation that can’t stand to any meaningful and honest scrutiny, as admitted to by a Canadian parliament fact-finding mission to Eritrea and Canada’s ambassador to Eritrea.
Investors in Eritrea are being rewarded generously for their strategic investment in a mining friendly country. Nevsun today is flush with cash and has been sitting on a pile of it. Eritreans working for Nevsun, as Canada’s Ambassador to Eritrea recent testimony revealed are also being rewarded well and are some of the highest paid in the country.
Ambassador Dominique Rossetti confirmed that by saying:
“Nevsun’s truck drivers, for example, as an illustration, receive salaries that would be twice that of a government minister.”
That however is small change compared to what Nevsun CEO made in 2014. Canaccord Genuity Inc yesterday revealed that Nevsun CEO in 2014 made $6.3 million dollars (a 180% increase over last year). If Nevsun truck drives made “twice that of a government minister”, it is even more astonishing when one noticed what Nevsun CEO made this year compared to President Isaias Afwerki’s annual salary.
President Isaias last year made on average less than US$ 400 a month. That is, the President of the country that Nevsun derives its profits from made 0.07% of what Nevsun’s CEO made in the same year. Astonishingly though, President Isaias still made less than what a Nevsun truck drive made in a year.
In the ridiculous so-called human right champions world, where black is white and white is black or up is down, in Eritrea, these are the “slaves”, enslaved to make more than the ministers and the President himself.