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Sudan govt takes control of Darfur’s Jebel Amer gold mines

October 29 - 2020 JEBEL AMER
Sudan's Finance Minister Heba Mohamed at the Jebel Amer mines yesterday (Social media).
Sudan's Finance Minister Heba Mohamed at the Jebel Amer mines yesterday (Social media).

On Wednesday afternoon, the government officially took over control the Jebel Amer gold mines* in North Darfur from Al Junaid Company. Minister of Finance Heba Mohamed lauded the agreement signed at the mines in El Sereif Beni Hussein locality in North Darfur.

The mines will continue to be operated in close cooperation with the Ministries of Finance, Energy and Mining, and “a constructive partnership with Al Junaid Company” she said in a speech at the ceremony.

The minister described the agreement as an important step for enhancing state revenues, growth in the region, and in particular in El Sereif Beni Hussein locality.

She explained that the government has great hopes for the Darfur region, especially after achieving peace, and hopes that the region will lead the rebirth of the Sudanese economy due to its huge resources.

Mubarak Ardol, Director of the Sudanese Company for Mineral Resources, said that the government taking over the Al Junaid Company site so its revenues swell the treasury of the Ministry of Finance will solve many problems for Sudan, indicating the country’s need for “every gramme of gold”.

The coming period will witness intensified efforts to research the Jebel Amer mines, to the stage of determining the reserves and supporting the infrastructure of the site for the effectiveness of its production.

Ardol advised the indigenous miners, that they should join cooperative societies of the miners in order to preserve their full and undiminished rights.

Lt Gen Abdelrahim Dagalo, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Al Junaid Company for Multiple Activities, confirmed that the company fulfils all its legal obligations of paying fees and taxes and is subject to control by state agencies, including the General Intelligence Service and the Ministry of Energy and Mining.

*Jebel Amer gold mines

The Revolutionary Awakening Council (RAC) headed by former Janjaweed leader Musa Hilal seized control of the Jebel Amer gold mining area in North Darfur in July 2015. According to a UN Security Council report in April 2016, Hilal and his entourage were profiting from vast gold sales in Darfur.

Sources claim that Lt Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’, Commander of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, was behind the arrest of Hilal in 2017, and took over the operation of the mines.

As for the El Junaid [Algunade] Company he is linked with by family ties, Hemeti says the company extracts between 30-40 kilograms of gold a month from the Jebel Amer mines i, with which it supplies hard currency to the Central Bank of Sudan.

According to the INGO Global Witness, Hemeti captured a large part of the gold market in Sudan in previous years. Reuters stated in November that the “militia leader grew rich by selling gold“. In December 2019, he reportedly started arrangements to hand the mining areas in Jebel Amer to the government.

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