VENTURES AFRICA – Sudan projects an annual gold output of 50 tonnes, according to the Mining Minister, as the country pushes to expand new sources of state funding.
Mining Minister Kamal Abdellatif revealed the expectations that the country would achieve a gold production of 50 tonnes, bringing in revenue in the region of $2.5 billion, at a mining conference in Khartoum, reports Reuters.
“Till yesterday we reached 41 tonnes of gold,” Abdellatif said, adding that output for next year is also expected to be strong, in the region of a further 50 tonnes.
The predicted output for this year is a significant leap from performances to date, and would see significant income flow into the country. In 2011 Sudan managed gold exports to the value of $1.5 billion through the sales of 33.7 tonnes of the precious metal.
Sudan has seen state revenue dwindling following the secession of South Sudan, causing Sudan to lose much of the oil rich territory in the region to its newly formed neighbour – costing the Sudanese state in the region of $5 billion in revenue. As such, the government is looking for new sources of income, and has pinpointed the mining sector as a potential avenue to increase funds.
Abdellatif disclosed that the state has already granted gold exploration licences to more than 85 companies, who are launching projects in over 120 locations country-wide. Seven companies have been successful in exploration efforts and are now proceeding to the production phase, with output expected by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the state has also reached an agreement with Saudia Arabia for the joint exploration of development of projects in the Red Sea area between the two countries, with a view to recovering gold, silver and copper resources.