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Sudanese company: 70,000 miners in South Darfur

April 6 - 2018 NYALA
People looking at one of the gold mines in Jebel Amer in North Darfur after its collapse, in 2017 (file photo)
People looking at one of the gold mines in Jebel Amer in North Darfur after its collapse, in 2017 (file photo)

The Sudanese Mining Company in South Darfur announced that there are approximately 70,000 miners in the state working in 2,400 mines.

Saleh Ali Saleh, the director of the company, said in his remarks yesterday that estimates of the amount of gold have not been properly identified. He attributed this to the large number of places where the 70,000 gold mills reside, and the fact that there are many goldsmiths in the state.

Saleh said that the mining company issued several guidelines in the mining areas, about the securing of mines, halting any illegal gold collection practices, the prevention of parties other than the competent authorities partaking in mining. The company wants to set-up a mobile clinic to create a healthy environment in the mining areas.

Health issues

El Jeili Hamouda Saleh, Professor of Environmental Law at the Bahri University in Khartoum told Radio Dabanga last year that there are more than 40,000 gold mining sites in Sudan. About 60 gold processing companies are operating in 13 states of the country, 15 of them in South Kordofan.

In South Kordofan, a medical team has investigated a reported increase in the number of miscarriages, the birth of deformed children, and cases of kidney failure in El Tadamon. These deteriorating health conditions are often attributed to the result of environmental pollution caused by the use of toxics by mining companies in the region.

The national committee for environmental advocacy and victims of mining in South Kordofan concluded that the team found a high number of miscarriages and births of deformed children.

Gold revenue

In December 2016, Minerals Minister Ahmed El Karori reported that Sudan produced 25.6 tons of gold that year so far. The exports amounted to $1.24 billion, representing 37 percent of the country's exports. In 2014, Sudan had become Africa’s third largest gold producer, with more than $1 billion from gold exports.

According to a recent report by the Sudan Democracy First Group (SDFG), the country’s gold industry is affected by “bureaucratic and political corruption, including embezzlement, cronyism and patronage.” The US Enough Project has reported that the majority of Sudanese gold is conflict-affected and entails “a high risk for money laundering”.

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