October 11, 2012 (KHARTOUM) – Sudan is set to ship the first batch of gold coming out of the refinery inaugurated last month according to an official in Khartoum.
- Gold bullion blocks are pictured at gold refinery in Khartoum on 11 October 2012 (SUNA)
The director of the refinery, Azhari al-Tayeb Faki Ahmed told Sudan’s news agency (SUNA) that the shipment is worth $5.6 million but did not specify where it is destined.
Ahmed added that the refinery produces 300 kilograms of gold per shift which he noted is equivalent $17 million under current prices.
He pledged an increase in gold exports over time.
In September, Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir inaugurated the country’s first gold refinery in a fresh bid to lift an economy still struggling from the impact of losing the oil-rich south last year.
Sudanese officials say that they are capitalizing on increased gold mining activities primarily by ordinary citizens as well as foreign companies. They project around $3 billion in gold exports this year.
But some analysts are skeptical that the gold production will offset only a tiny fraction of the lost oil revenues. So far there is no evidence that the new discoveries have helped to shore up the budget deficit or boost foreign currency inflows.