Khartoum- Sudanese Minister of Minerals expected the production of gold in his country to exceed that of South Africa very soon, making it the world’s second gold producing African country.
Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Sadiq al-Karuri told Asharq Al-Awsat that his country possessed gold reserves that amounted to 1,550 tons in 2016 and that its lands are rich with thousands of tons of probable gold reserves, expecting the number of proven reserves to double in the coming few years.
However, the Minister revealed that the actual exported gold amounted to 28.9 tons in 2016 valued $1.156 billion.
He said that the value missing between the produced and exported is due to the gold smuggling, local production, storage, liquidation of crude abroad and difficulty of controlling traditional mining.
Al-Karuri explained that controversial Russian company working on gold mining, known as Siberian, did not pay the $5 billion it pledged to pay in order to guarantee its investments due to problems it has been facing in Russia.
He promised to study the reasons submitted by the company and take the appropriate decision in this regard.
The Minister of Minerals also expected that Sudan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to start investing in minerals in the joint area between the two countries deep in the Red Sea to reach the production level by 2020 after Manafa Company received mining concession.
Al-Karuri said that his country possesses more than 30 kinds of minerals, noting that Sudan does not focus on mining gold but on producing all these kinds it has.
He said that Sudan produced 10,000 tons of Manganese, 45,000 tons of Chrome, 3,371 tons of Crinkle and thousand other tons of other minerals in 2016.
“By comparing the value of these metals to the value of gold, we can notice that the latter comes on top of mineral exports.”
When asked about the reserves of rare metals such as Uranium, he said that Uranium’s reserves are not certain since working on such rare metal is very sensitive and needs high potentials. However, he confirmed that his ministry has assigned the General Authority for Geological Research to initiate in exploring Uranium and other rare and strategic metals.