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Sudan mines over 100 tons of gold, plans to use in foreign currency

in Africa & the Diaspora by

Sudan’s gold rush in 2015 finally produces positive results.

In a statement, Sudanese minerals minister reported that aggressive mining initiatives extracted 103 tons of gold in the country bordering Egypt. The numbers show double the projected amount with plans to mine 110 tons in 2018.

Since 2011, Sudan has been working to establish a solid economy. After losing 75 percent of its oil reserves in the split between Sudan and South Sudan, the Muslim-dominant Sudan works to make gold a major source of foreign currency.

With the rising gold mining, the government works to establish a gold market for international gold exchange.

Reviving an Old Industry

Miners in Sudan’s gold mining industry face many health and safety issues. Photo credit: Swapnil Dwivedi

For decades, Sudan enjoyed a modest gold mining industry. When mining seemed to be one of the few viable options, the government opened its doors to European mining companies.

At first, foreign investors showed disinterest due to the high risks of losing money. Since, 200 companies mine for gold. As the industry develops, issues of safety shot up on a list of concerns for miners. Dressed improperly and ill-equipped to extract gold from caverns in the earth, injuries and deaths are regular. Yet and still, men enlist in the arduous work to earn money.

In 2013, a collapsed mine brought attention to poor extraction methods. Additionally, environmental and health concerns arise with the exposure of mercury and cyanide that affects workers as well as nearby towns and villages.

However, Sudanese officials work to remove their financial dependency from international creditors or control from western governments. So, the country moves forward in increasing gold mining.

Gaddafi’s Gold

Using gold to acquire economic power was proposed by fallen Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi who suggested that the African continent use gold to back all of its currency. Gaddafi’s argument was that it would increase wealth-sharing. Experts believed that his plan positioned Africa to dismantle the 1 percent’s monopoly and reinsert all of Africa on the positive side of global economies.

According to a story by Vice, it was rumored that Gaddafi stored $7 billion of gold and silver to back his plan. However, after Gaddafi’s assassination led by several Western countries, any signs of his precious metals were gone. Today, the oil and gas reserves of Libya are being mined by Italy, France, Germany and Spain; although the country’s economy is on the brink of collapse.

While many look to cryptocurrency as the answer, gold and precious metals still remains a coveted commodity.

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