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South Sudan open to investment in oil and minerals

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March 31, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan is open to investment in the oil and minerals sector, the country’s deputy minister of petroleum and mining told Sudan Tribune on Saturday, explaining that it is in the interest of the government to diversify the economy, after years of depending on solely oil.

Elizabeth James Bol said South Sudan has “abundant resources” some of which have not been discovered and that government is discussing with the international companies to explore areas with potential oil and mineral resources so that it can move away from dependency on oil.

Until earlier this year, when a dispute over transit fees led Juba to stop production, oil revenues accounted for 98% of South Sudan’s budget. North and South Sudan have been unable to find a deal to replace arrangements in a 2005 peace deal that led to South Sudan’s independence last year.

Under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement South Sudan’s oil was split 50:50 between Khartoum and Juba.

“South Sudan is giant country. It is a young nation emerging out of the decades of destructed civil war. It has a lot of challenges but these challenges will be overcome because the government under President Salva Kiir Mayardit is vigilant and determined to deliver services to expectations of our people”, said Bol.

“This country has huge mineral resources. It has gold, zinc, copper and diamonds. Some other minerals have not been discovered. There have been talks about uranium and other minerals”, she said, explaining that exploration needs to be carried out.

The official made the pronouncement weeks after the country’s ministry of commerce, industry and investment signed number of memorandums of understandings with some international companies to invest in various areas.

Some foreign companies including SP Mining, an international company specialising in oil and minerals exploration pledged readiness to establishing relations with the government and to study existing opportunities and possibilities of striking a deal with the country’s Ministry of Petroleum and Mining to conduct exploration in areas with potential mineral reserves.

CHAD

SP mining is one of the biggest mining exploitation and exploration companies in the world and has been awarded 130,000 km2 of mineral concessions by the government of Chad

“In all of the concessions, there are artisanal miners producing significant quantities of some of these minerals. The Government of the Republic of Chad has also exclusively awarded SP Mining the geological survey for the rest of the country, around 1,200,000 km2 and is giving the rights to the company to award itself another 70,000 km2 of its own choice”, reads part of a recent press release.

“This concession, together with the ones it already has in other countries, converts SP Mining into one of the biggest mining exploitation and exploration companies in the world. SP MINING, together with STAR PETROLEUM, belongs to the HYPERSONIC Group. All these concessions have been studied and pre-selected using latest generation technology by the best geologists, who among them are those from Graz University (Austria), famous for its reputation in geology”.

EASTERN SUDAN

SP Mining recently secured concessions in Gadareef, Sudan, where it discovered one of the biggest reserves of gold in Africa and hopes that it would discover a lot in South Sudan if awarded a concession in areas with potential mineral reserves.

The release states that the company develops “very important humanitarian activities” in all the countries where it has a concession and identifies Farshad Zandi as the main shareholder and chairman of SP Mining, while Alberto Cortina as one the most important shareholders of the company, being also a relevant shareholder of several Spanish companies like ACS.

(ST)

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