Sudan hopes to become second largest gold producer in Africa, as production volume reaches 82,3 tons in 2015.
Sudan’s gold production increased 12 percent in 2015, from 73.4 tons in 2014 to 82.3 tons, according to Ahmed Mohamed Sadiq al-Karori, minister of minerals.
He said the country’s gold production was expected to reach 100 tons, which would make it the second largest producer in Africa, after South Africa, and ninth in the world.
Until 2011, oil was the main export commodity in Sudan. However, after the independence of South Sudan, the major oil producing region, the country urgently had to look for new sources of income. Now, the government places great hope in gold production.
One of the most notable developments in the Sudanese mining industry in 2015 was the launch of gold production by the Russian Siberian Company and the establishment of a gold stock exchange (or bourse) to help contribute to the national budget and stabilize the exchange rate.
Last year, the Siberian company accounced that it had discovered 46,000 tons of gold reserves in the some areas in the Nile river and Red Sea, a stunning amount with market value of over $1.7 trillion.
By launching a gold bourse, Karori hopes to address the problem of gold smuggling. According to his information sources, citizens of a neighbouring country were smuggling his country’s gold by bribing the country’s officials.
He suggested that the gold bourse would also help to legalize and organize traditional mining activities.
Freelance or artisanal gold mining sweeps the country, while the government tries to attract international mining giants and investors to develop the gold mining sector. However, only few businesses have taken the risk of establishing their operations in the conflict-torn country. Also, United States sanctions against Sudan make it difficult for Western companies to get necessary bank loans to fund mining operations in the country.
The following video reportage provides a detailed overview of Sudanese freelance mining industry development:
Image source: Bloomberg Images