Akobo is an extensive placer gold region characterized by a Precambrian belt of metamorphic rocks. These rocks constitute the southernmost part of the West Ethiopian Precambrian Greenstone Belt, a southern extension of the Arabian-Nubian Shield, known for many gold deposits, ancient and modern. Large and small bodies of ultramafic rocks characterize the Akobo area. Similar rocks occur along the belt to the north, e.g. at Yubdo, Tulu Kapi, Tulu Dimtu, Baruda etc, as well as Asosa. Gold is broadly associated with these areas of higher concentration of ultramafic bodies, and has been produced from placer deposits in these western areas of Ethiopia since ancient times.
The extensive Akobo district, until a few decades ago a very sparsely populated area, has not yet been systematically explored. Some exploration for base metals was done during the Italian occupation.
Unlike the northern areas, gold was first known here quite late. The Norwegian-French Thams gold exploration party was very close in 1930-31, but never picked up any rumors of gold in the Akobo district.
Three types of orogenic gold mineralization have been identified by Akobo Minerals so far, all in Neoproterozoic metamorphic rocks of the West Ethiopian Precambrian Belt.