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More land owners protest gold mining factory in South Kordofan

November 8 - 2016 KADUGLI
South Kordofan's El Azrag area (Nuba Reports)
South Kordofan's El Azrag area (Nuba Reports)

A chieftainship in South Kordofan has demanded an immediate halt to the construction of a factory that processes cyanide on a land that it owns.

The native administration in Kadugli, the state capital, has demanded that the local government immediately stop building the factory near the city’s airport. It opposes the use of cyanide that poses a threat to lives, and is a danger to the environment in genetral.

Several toxic substances such as cyanide and mercury are widely used in Sudan’s mines. They are used to separate gold and silver particles from ore. But the chemicals may cause various serious, possibly fatal, health problems.

The factory is owned by the Governor of South Kordofan, which initially set out to build the complex in a rural area of Alleri locality. Residents there refused the establishment, after which the project was moved to 1.6 kilometres north of El Shaeer district in Kadugli.

An activist speaking to Radio Dabanga last month said that residents and the native administration have filed a joint complaint against the construction of the factory.

In West Kordofan, the local Youth Council has reported miscarriages, infections, distortion, childlessness, skin diseases, and allergies because of the random mining and production of petroleum in the region.

Gold production

Sudan is emerging as one of Africa's top gold producers, Sudanese Minister of Minerals, Ahmed El Sadeg El Karori told the press one year ago. The mineral also is the main source of income for Sudan after the south seceded in 2011, taking a substantial part of the oil fields with it. The overall gold production (traditional and company mining combined) in the first quarter of this year totalled 22.3 tons, an increase of just over three per cent from 21.6 tons last year.

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