Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Modern Gold Rush - Sudan

"AL-SIREAF, Sudan, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Over 100,000 people have fled a battle over a gold mine between two Arab communities in Sudan's Darfur region, the United Nations said. The latest is over gold deposits in the northern area of Darfur, the BBC reported Friday.

Many of the recent refugees are living outdoors in what the United Nations described as appalling conditions, adding it sent 600 tons of food and blankets to the town of al-Sireaf to aid them.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/02/01/Thousands-flee-Darfur-battle-over-gold/UPI-76301359748032/


"The fighting broke out last month in the Jebel Amir gold mining area.
"The fight is between the Beni Hussein, who are largely cattle herders, and the northern Rizeigat, a powerful tribe known for its camel herding. Scores of people have been killed and dozens of villages burned, according to the local authorities. Members of the Beni Hussein tribe accused government forces of helping the Rizeigat and giving them powerful weaponry. "

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/02/world/africa/thousands-displaced-in-darfur-as-tribes-battle-over-mine.html?_r=0
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KHARTOUM, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Sudan expects to produce around 50 tonnes of gold this year, earning $2.5 billion, its mining minister said, as the country seeks to offset the loss of most oil reserves when South Sudan became independent last year.

Sudan is boosting production of gold and other minerals to gain new sources of state income and of foreign currency needed to fund imports. Output of 50 tonnes could potentially make it Africa's third largest gold miner behind South Africa and Ghana, and push it into the top 15 producers globally.

"The government has given conflicting data on Sudan's gold production which is hard to verify as much comes from half a million artisan seekers, part of whose output is smuggled abroad.

The central bank has tried to end smuggling of gold to major markets such as Dubai by buying up gold from local traders, even above market prices, according to industry sources." On December 12, 2012 the Central Bank imposed a ban on gold exports.

Sudan is among Africa's poorest countries, but is sitting on top of perhaps the largest gold reserves in the continent, according to a recent survey by Arab League's Arab Industrial Development and Mining Organization (AIDMO).
Not surprisingly there is conflict. "Khartoum - Heavy fighting has broken out between two tribes over a gold mine in Sudan's Darfur region, killing several people and forcing authorities to close the mine, tribal leaders and state media said on Wednesday."