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Sudan Ministry aims to ban mercury from mining in 2020

May 31 - 2016 KHARTOUM
The Sudanese Parliament in Omdurman (news.sudanvisiondaily)
The Sudanese Parliament in Omdurman (news.sudanvisiondaily)

The Ministry of Minerals in Sudan works to dispose of the use of mercury from the traditional gold mining sector in Sudan. The toxic reagent would ideally be banned after 2020. It further affirmed Sudan's pursuit of building strategic relations with Russia.

Minister Ahmed El Karori said he has proposed an awareness-raising campaign for the safe use of mercury in the process of refining gold to the Sudanese parliament. He spoke at a workshop in Khartoum's Corinthia Hotel on Monday that was attended by Russian mining projects, the official Suna News Agency reported.

The Ministry will investigate mercury alternatives and the possibility of an agreement to ban the use of the chemical by 2020. El Karori said that an immediate ban on mercury in Sudan would have a negative economic effect on the mining industry.

Sudanese companies that process the waste of traditional mining have been licensed to get rid of mercury, El Karori said. He mentioned the expertise of Russian companies in this field, which also support Sudan in preventing a trade ban in gold that the United States called for in the past.

The Minister said that the Russian Koch Company is currently the largest gold producer in Sudan.

Omar Abdelgader, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Urban Development, said that mercury is “public enemy number one at the health and environment level, [for] land, human and animals”. He said that his Ministry will cooperate with all relevant authorities to eliminate the destructive toxic.

Mercury sold freely

Mercury and cyanide are being sold unmonitored in the markets of Abu Jubaiha, South Kordofan, leading to environmental damage in the area, a chairman of the local committee on environmental protection reported to Radio Dabanga this month.

The government authorities are aware of the damage these substances may cause, but continue to grant licenses to mining companies in the state, Ibrahim Nima explained.

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