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Sudan gold income compensates oil revenues before secession: minister

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December 18, 2017 (KHARTOUM) - The minerals minister said Sudan’s revenue from gold is currently equal to oil revenues before the secession of South Sudan in July 2011.

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Gold bullion blocks pictured at a gold refinery in Khartoum on 11 October 2012 (SUNA)

After the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, Sudan lost 75% of its oil production, the main source of state revenue and hard currency needed to pay for imports. Since the government focuses is efforts on gold mining to keep the economy afloat.

"Gold revenues are 1.5 trillion pounds which are equal to oil revenues before the secession of South Sudan," Sudanese Minerals Minister Hashim Ali Salem said in response to a parliamentary question on Monday.

There are two million gold miners in the country, he further estimated.

More than a million Sudanese work in the mining private sector, which produces the bulk of gold, but reliable data is still difficult to obtain.

The minister added that the country’s production of gold from January to November 2017 amounted to 95.1 tons.

He complained that gold smuggling is not included in the smuggling law, pointing out that the low prices set by the Central Bank of Sudan encourage the smuggling of precious metal, particularly there is no local gold bourse, in addition to the proximity of mining areas from the country borders.

Sudan’s gold production for 2016 was 93.4 tons and Sudan is the third largest African producer of gold after South Africa and Ghana. By 2018, the government to top the list of gold producing countries in Africa.

(ST)

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