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South Kordofan dismisses accusations over gold mining

Protest against gold mining factory in Talodi locality, South Kordofan on 9 February 2017 (RD)
Protest against gold mining factory in Talodi locality, South Kordofan on 9 February 2017 (RD)

The government in South Kordofan has refused to receive an official complaint against its governor and the mining companies that operate in the state.

The National Committee for Environmental Advocacy and Victims of Mining in South Kordofan issued the complaint against Governor Eisa Abakar and the mining companies in the state yesterday, accusing them of violating all professional commitments and scientific regulations by continuing the gold mining.

The complaint was sent to a follow-up office which refused to accept it, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction, the secretary-general of the committee told Radio Dabanga.

The committee has filed another complaint to the legal advisor in Kadugli, whom also refused to receive it without the presence of all signatories of the complaint.

Speaking from Khartoum, secretary-general Ahmed Mukhtar said that the committee will not be silent and will raise their case to the highest judicial authority. “Until we win the right for the people of South Kordofan to enjoy a clean and a pollution-free environment.”

Demonstrations against harmful activities in gold mining sites in northern Sudan and in South and North Kordofan, such as cyanidation to extract gold from low-grade ore, have been growing stronger. Cyanide is highly toxic for humans and the environment.

There are 361 registered mining companies in Sudan, according to the Sudanese Minister of Minerals earlier this week. He has made a plea to for the use of safe chemicals in mining operations, and to ensure the regulation of traditional mining in accordance with international standards. Cyanide is controversial and banned in a number of countries.

The Minister called on the Sudanese Parliament to enact legislation, and benefit from the experience of leading countries that use cyanide in the gold extraction process.

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