Largest gold mining deal in Sudan's history
Khartoum has granted a Russian gold mining group concession to explore for gold in northern and eastern Sudan.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Minerals, Ahmed El Karori, and company director Vladimir Zhukov signed the agreement at the presidential palace in Khartoum, in the presence of President Omar Al Bashir.
El Karori said in a press conference held after the signing ceremony that the contract covers nine blocks, equivalent to some 8,000 ton, in the Red Sea and the River Nile.
The total of gold reserves in the two regions has been estimated at 46,000 ton, with a value of more than one trillion dollar.
The production stage will be reached within the coming six months. It is expected that the first year will produce up to 33 tons, to reach 53 tons in two years.
“These quantities will contribute to an economic boom and change the status of the country,” the Minister predicted.
He said that Sudan’s share of the production will be 75 percent, while the Russian gold mining group will enjoy a 25 percent share. The agreement also ensures the financing of other mineral exploration projects.
Earlier this month, El Karori told reporters that he expects the gold production to reach record amounts this year in all sectors. He said that the government is using turnovers from gold exports to fill the deficit in its GDP caused by the loss of oil revenues, after South Sudan declared its independence from Sudan in July 2011.
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