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South Darfur signs for gold exploration

August 7 - 2015 NYALA / KHARTOUM
A man with a gold detector in Sudan (Getty)
A man with a gold detector in Sudan (Getty)

South Darfur state has signed an agreement for exploration and mining of gold and other minerals with a company. Meanwhile, Sudan's Minister of Minerals has unveiled details of its agreement with the Russian mining company to explore gold in the country.

Sidki Group has agreed with South Darfur state to explore gold and other minerals in about seventeen surveyed areas. The Minister of Finance of the state, Yousif El Hussein, said the agreement is the beginning of a process to activate investments and take advantage of the available resources in the ground, especially gold.

In his press statement on Thursday, he added that the agreement with Sidko Group has set the foundations of a smart partnership to include other development projects such as roads and agricultural programs, after achieving security and stability - which will encourage the flow of investments more.

The Sudanese Minerals Minister Ahmed El Sadig El Karori revealed in his address to the state coordination council that the Russian Cyrian Company has discovered large amounts of gold in two areas, using modern technologies. The official Sudan News Agency quoted him as saying that 8,000 tons were found in the first site.

The Russian company starts exploration within six months from the date of the agreement that was signed on 29 July, El Karori said. 38,000 tons were discovered at the second site, for which the ministry has not yet signed an agreement with any party.

The minister 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.

Gold production increase

The production of minerals in Sudan has significantly increased during the first half of this year, especially in the sectors of traditional gold mining. El Karori announced in the befinning of July that the quantity of gold produced this year so far, amounting to 43 tonnes, is unprecedented, as the production during the same period last year was about 31 tonnes.

Sudan earned more than $1 billion from gold exports last year. El Karori said the government is using its turnovers from gold exports to fill the deficit in its GDP caused by the loss of oil revenues, after South Sudan declared its independence Sudan in July 2011.

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