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By itself gold could solve Sudan's economic problems, mining minister says

Section: Daily Dispatches

Imagine what gold could do for Sudan and the rest of the developing world if developed nations weren't striving to suppress its price, and if developing nations themselves acknowledged and protested the price suppression.

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From Radio Dabanga, Amsterdam
Monday, January 1, 2018

If the gold produced in Sudan were not sold but used as a guarantee for financing, the country's financial problems would be solved, says Minister of Minerals Dr. Hashem Ali Salem. Meanwhile, the economic situation continues to deteriorate, with the country's reserves of cooking gas almost depleted, and soaring prices of consumer goods.

During the weekly News Forum at the Ministry of Information in Khartoum on Wednesday, the Sudanese Minister of Minerals announced that the gold production has increased to more than 100 tons during the current year.

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The minister reported, according to the official Sudan News Agency, that Khartoum received a financing offer of more than $6 billion from four large mining companies, to be guaranteed by gold produced in the near future. However, he said, only $4 billion would be enough to solve the country's economic problems.

Had the Central Bank of Sudan purchased gold for a reasonable price, miners would not have smuggled the precious mineral, Salem stated, and stressed the necessity of establishing a gold bourse.

He further pointed out that his ministry accounts for 5 percent of the national domestic product. He hopes to increase this figure in 2018, when the ministry will stop exporting a number of raw minerals, and start the indigenisation of the minerals production industry.

Last March the Central Bank of Sudan and the Ministry of Minerals announced new policies to buy and export gold. The new policies allow the private sector to export 50 percent of gold it buys and to sell the other half to the bank.

According to a recent report by the Sudan Democracy First Group, the country's gold industry is affected by "bureaucratic and political corruption, including embezzlement, cronyism, and patronage."

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