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QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, March 25, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Opal prices are set to escalate due to government polices of the two major opal exporting countries. "Both Australian and Ethiopian governments are interfering with the Opal industry at the same time," according to Wayne Sedawie founder of OpalAuctions. Ethiopian Government is set to Ban exports of Opal rough whilst the new Australian Government policies for Miners will make opal mining expenses prohibitive for most miners.
Ethiopia Opal Rough
Ethiopia will ban sales of rough opal from May 31st 2013. Opal exports for Ethiopia now match their gold exports. 80% of the rough opal is now exported and cut in India. Ethiopia does not have the gem cutting capacities and will takes years to train good cutters. As an example of the Ethiopian opal industry, from 52 members of the association only 6 have opal cutting equipment.
The Ethiopian government now taxes up to US$1500 per kilo for good quality rough, they have always taxed opals but now they also want to start a cutting industry to add value. This policy shift will increase price large quality opals.
Opal miners at Lightning Ridge have been king hit with government policies that will make opal mining very expensive. This could be a death blow to the black opal industry.
Mining costs levies, security deposits, landowner compensation, infrastructure levels, rehabilitation costs and now the government wants to introduce a sunset clause for miners working at the site.
Mining claims have already jumped from $435 last year to $1230. The days of the romantic opal miner are now gone as it's now currently an expensive operation to run a opal mine. Many small operators will leave due to costs and government policies.
Plus the fact that opal mining is not a science and it is hard to find the rare opal.
Already there is a shortage of good quality opals, as many miners are keeping stocks for themselves. Opal prices are set to escalate as demand will outstrip supply.
Black opals and Ethiopian opals of large size and pattern will become more and more rarer, so now is an opportunity to invest in a quality opal, as it will most probably decrease production and keep decreasing over the next few years.
Now is the right time to buy opals.
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