Gold is Ethiopia's main mineral export and has been mined there since ancient times, primarily as alluvial or free gold.
At present, Ethiopia has a single large-scale gold mine, the Midroc Gold Mine at Lega Dembi, which is an operating open pit mine in Ethiopia.
The mine was privatised and awarded to Midroc Ethiopia in 1997. A mining license was awarded and a new company – Midroc Legadembi Gold Mine Share Company (Minroc Gold) commenced production in August 1998. Average yearly production totals 4.5 t. The Lega Dembi deposit is the largest gold producer in Ethiopia. It is situated in late-Precambrian metamorphosed sediments of the N-S trending, volcano-sedimentary Megado belt, which forms part of the late-Proterozoic Adola granite-greenstone terrane in southern Ethiopia.