Home | News    Tuesday 19 June 2012

Australia urges transparency in South Sudan’s mining industry

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By Julius N. Uma

June 18, 2012 (JUBA) - South Sudan should expedite its mining legislation as a mechanism to address transparency accountability and proper management in the country’s mining sector, Tim Fischer, the special envoy to the Australian prime minister, said on Friday.

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Australia’s delegation to South Sudan, led by Tim Fischer, at a press briefing in Juba, 15 June 2012 (ST)

The existence of such a law, Fischer told journalists, will directly increase employment for the country’s citizens, generate extra revenue and enhance the provision of training needs to build the capacity of government employees.

“Your benchmark mining legislation of 76 pages is now almost through the Parliament and that will be a green light signal to the world that South Sudan is ready for responsible mining development,” Fischer told a media briefing in Juba, the South Sudan’s capital.

He described South Sudan as one of the “most exciting” provinces in the world in terms of its mineral potential, adding that the Australian government will provide a great deal of “practical” assistance through provision of short courses as well as supporting South Sudan’s bid to join the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI) and Mining for Development Initiative (MDI).

Australia, Fischer said, is the second largest world producer of minerals such as gold, iron, uranium and diamonds. At least 240 Australian companies are reportedly operating throughout Africa continent, he said.

An estimated $29m has been earmarked by the Australian government to boost South Sudan’s mining, agriculture and health sectors this year. In the last few months, however, Australia also extended $12m for humanitarian assistance in the world’s newest nation.

Elizabeth James Bol, South Sudan’s deputy minister for petroleum and mining lauded what she described as the strong partnership between Australia and South Sudan calling for further technical cooperation and economic development between the two nations.

Acknowledging South Sudan’s huge economic potential, Bol said enactment of the Mining Bill will foster the government’s efforts in improving the industry, through capacity building of staff capacity, improving accountability and fighting corruption.

Over $4 billion of government money is estimated to have stolen since South Sudan gained self-rule in 2005 as part of a peace deal with Khartoum. The same deal allowed South Sudan to secede from Sudan last year.

“Once we have the mining laws in place and with the support from the Australian government, we shall be able to come up with actions plans that help us develop the mining industry so the social services are provided to our people,” she said.

The Australian government has announced plans to send a strategic mineral advisor to South Sudan’s petroleum and mining industry. The proposed advisor, earmarked from the Adam Smith International will reportedly help the government in drawing up action plans, help arrange study tours, and assist in dissemination of the mining laws.

(ST)

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  • 19 June 2012 06:27, by zulu

    Very positive forRSS to pursue this alternative revenue source. If Australia is the second world’s producer of Minerals, South Sudan as Africa’s richest will become the 4th in the world. Already, it is the 3rd in animal recourse. As we add agriculture to it, we can be sure, it is the land of milk and honey and Jalaby, Mohamed and SEE will seek employmeent in South Sudan 4yrs from now

    repondre message

    • 19 June 2012 08:42, by talentboy2

      ZULU,
      you right, Australia is one of the richest nations and striving to be on top. with mining Australia and china are at best but Australia is home to over 40thousands south Sudanese population and Australia has better educated Sudanese who will work alongside with Australian and south Sudanese.
      in coming years south sudan will be mining boom nation and all africans including Northerners will ..

      repondre message

    • 19 June 2012 08:44, by talentboy2

      seek jobs in south sudan.
      South what we should be doing now is educate ourselves and watch these criminals carefully when they are seeking jobs

      repondre message

  • 19 June 2012 08:37, by Msudi

    Hi Zulu,
    You have said it very well. In 4 yrs, the likes of SEE, JALABA,NORTH SUDANESE will eventually seek employment in RSS.
    I welcome the inovlvement of Australia in helping us develop our mining industry. Australia is only western country that had escaped the current crisis englufing EURO zone and America.
    In may this year Australia delivered a surplus of 1.25 billions dollars.
    Kwheri ndugu

    repondre message

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