Sudan has signed nine concession pacts for gold and copper mining with eight local and foreign companies. According to the Minister of Minerals Mohamed Bashir Abdalla, through the state news agency, all agreements are associated with gold mining except one that is meant for copper.
All concession zones are in the Red Sea State, the West Kordofan state and the Northern State.
The companies that won the four gold mining concessions are from Iraq, China and South Africa. A fourth one that won the single copper concession is from Armenia, the report said. Four gold concessions were taken by four local companies.
On Thursday, Abdalla indicated that Sudan had sold 13,327,657 grams of gold worth US $437,983,965 between 2015 and 2020. From June 2020 to February 2021 however, the country had sold 2,752,889 grams worth US$ 140,805,290. He also mentioned that income from gold sales and export from March to May this year had reached US $36,295,970.
Last year, Sudan started allowing private investors to export gold, a step designed to eradicate smuggling and promote the entry of foreign currency into the country’s treasury. These investors were allowed to deal with all exports and take over the business.
For a long time, the central bank single-handedly managed all exports, purchasing gold locally at non-negotiable prices at collection sites countrywide, setting up centers to buy the metal from small-scale miners, hence the illegal trade. An unpopular private company established in 2015, Al-Fakher, was the first to benefit from the new regulations, exporting an initial 155kg early last year.
Sudan also had agreed to the founding of stock exchanges for gold, minerals and agricultural commodities. The mining industry of Sudan is yet to reach its full potential and such like concession deals are expected to help it grow rapidly.