Sudan alludes to smuggling of 48,8 tons of gold in first half of 2018

August 10, 2018 (KHARTOUM)- Sudan’s Ministry of Minerals acknowledged the government purchased only10 per cent of the actual amount of gold produced in the first half of 2018.

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Gold bullion blocks, brought by local gold workers for examination, are pictured at a gold laboratory counter in the gold market in Khartoum July 15, 2012 (Reuters)

In a press release issued on Wednesday, the Ministry of Minerals said gold production in the first half of this year amounted to 63,3 tons, saying the Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) purchased only 10 per cent of the total production.

According to the press release, the government revenues from the gold exports reached $422,5 million, saying the difference between actual gold production and government exports reached 48,8 tons.

However, the Ministry of Minerals didn’t elaborate on whether the 48,8 tons have been smuggled or being hidden by traditional miners and mining companies from government reach.

Gold production is now Sudan’s main source of hard currency after the secession of South Sudan where are the two third of its oil reserves before 2011.

However, restrictions on hard currency by the CBoS represent a big challenge impeding the development of the mining industry but also encourage traditional miners to smuggle their production to neighbouring countries.

Sudan currently ranks third in gold production behind South Africa and Ghana. Officials said they hope to increase gold production to more than 140 tons and make Sudan the first gold producer in Africa in 2018.

(ST)