Sudan Signs Nine Concession Deals for Gold, Copper Mining
Sudan on Thursday signed nine concession agreements for gold and copper mining with eight local and foreign companies, the state news agency SUNA said.
All the agreements are related to gold mining except one for copper, the agency quoted Minister of Minerals Mohamed Bashir Abdalla as saying.
Three companies from Iraq, China, South Africa won four gold mining concessions, and a fourth one from Armenia won the single copper concession, the report said. Four local companies took four gold concessions.
All concession areas are located in the Red Sea State, the West Kordofan state and the Northern State.
Although there are no official figures, annual gold production in Sudan is estimated at tons. However, Sudan has been complaining of widespread gold smuggling.
Last week, Finance Minister Jibril Ibrahim acknowledged that the government was helpless in stopping the gold smuggling.
He further noted that certain procedures were taken to limit the illicit activity and to benefit from gold revenues.
Sudan sold 13,327,657 grams of gold worth $437,983,965 from 2015 to 2020, Abdalla said on Thursday, compared with 2,752,889 grams worth $140,805,290 from June 2020 to February 2021.
Gold sales from March to May reached $36,295,970, the minister said during the concession agreements ceremony.
He pledged to encourage modern mining and investment, saying that gold production is the top economic activity and would bring in foreign currency to the country.
He further pledged to simplify the investment procedures, to support gold manufacturing, to amend relevant legislations and tackle other steps that would encourage investment and investors.
For his part, Ibrahim called for expanding the production of minerals and related industries and attracting more investment companies in this field.