Agents of the National and Intelligence Service (NISS) in South Kordofan detained four environmental activists in El Goz locality on Saturday.
“El Mahi El Faki, El Sadig Yagoub, Ahmed Bohra, and Khaled Madibo were detained from the El Hajez market while they were informing the people about the hazards of cyanide.
“The officers took them to Delling for questioning and released them later that day,” Ahmed Mukhtar, Secretary-General of the Environmental Advocacy and Victims of Mining Committee told Radio Dabanga.
Cyanide is traditionally used in extracting gold. There are more than 11 gold mining companies using cyanide in South Kordofan, Mukhtar said.
He called on “all activists, native administrators, and civil society members to stand up and protest the use of the deadly cyanide”.
In November last year, the native administration in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan, demanded the state government immediately stop building a gold processing factory, owned by the state governor near the town’s airport.
Chemical expert Dr Yasir Hamouda told Radio Dabanga in December that the federal government’ began to transfer gold mining residues from various regions of Sudan to South Kordofan.
According to Dr Mohamed Abu Fatima, Director-General of Geological Research Services of the Ministry of Minerals, Sudan will most probably produce more than 500 tons of gold during the coming ten months.
Abu Fatima, who was speaking at a seminar in Khartoum on Saturday, on the recent US decision to ease its economic sanctions on Sudan and its impact on gold mining in Sudan, pointed out that about 20 percent of gold-rich areas in the country are currently explored.
Mohamed Osman, Director of Policy Management at the Central Bank of Sudan said that the mining sector revenues have exceeded $4 billion.
In December last year, the Minister of Minerals announced that Sudan produced 25.6 tons of gold from January to November 2016, amounting to $1.24 billion. The Ministry plans to double the gold and other minerals production in 2017.
According to the Minister, there are 42 mining companies producing gold in the country.