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Sudan tightens control of gold refining and exports
Sudan's Central Bank Places Moratorium on Gold Ore Exports
From the Sudan Tribune, Paris
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
KHARTOUM, Sudan -- The Central Bank of Sudan on Wednesday issued a ban on the exports of gold ore effective January 2013, state media reported.
No reason was given for the decision but the report stated that the bank will focus on developing marketing channels for the gold locally through the establishment of precious-metals exchange in Sudan.
Gold mining firms will be allowed to export in line with bank policies only after refining it in the newly built Khartoum refinery.
The government had said that the state-run refinery, opened last September in the capital, will help reduce the ore smuggled overseas to places such as Dubai. Producers would receive more money for the higher-quality gold, reducing the incentive to smuggle, the government says.
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The bank has tried to end smuggling by buying gold from local traders, even above market prices, according to industry sources speaking to Reuters.
Sudan says that gold production hit 34 tonnes this year through September compared to 10 tonnes during the same period in 2011.
The East African country is looking for gold to make up for the budget deficit it incurred as a result of losing three quarters of its oil production due to the secession of South Sudan in July last year.
Sudan hopes to sell 50 tonnes of gold worth up to approximately $3 billion this year, double last year's gold revenue.
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