Sudan is one of Africa’s largest gold producers; and a vast resevoir of untapped resources provide further golden opportunities for investors in mining
The secession of South Sudan has proven to be the catalyst Sudan needed to revitalize its economy, the country’s State Minister for Investment Osama Faisal Elsayed Ali states. Since 2011, the country has embarked on a bold strategy of diversification away from oil, and towards industries such as mining and agriculture.
The gold industry, in particular, has boomed in recent years. It plays a very vital role in the country’s economy, generating more than $3 billion in sales each year. “It was a good opportunity for investors because everybody was relying on the oil and all of a sudden the deficit was created because of the secession,” says Mr. Ali. “For more than 50 years nobody was thinking of doing mining – people were always concentrating on oil, oil, oil. But immediately after the secession we started to produce gold and other minerals as well.”
The government is offering exemptions from tax duties and customs in a bid to encourage more investment in the country’s mining and agriculture industries. But the investment minister stresses that the simple fact that Sudan boasts a vast reservoir of untapped resources should provide ample reason to invest in the country. “There’s one factor which investors will not find all over the world; that is the margin of profit, which is very high here.
“This is something that you will not find elsewhere – and it’s simply very high here because the country is still virgin. I advise all investors to visit Sudan. Seeing is believing.”
Sudan is also known for being one of Africa’s biggest gold producers. Going forward, it aims to climb even higher in the world rankings by encouraging further investment in the industry.
“We welcome foreign investment and we have a very lucrative Foreign Investment Act, for the minerals and for many other things also,” says Minister of Minerals, Ahmed Mohamed Sadiq Al-Karuri.
“After thorough studies in Sudan, we now know we have many minerals. There’s gold, iron, and chromium as well. We are expecting things to go up in this sector in the near future, which will be great for Sudan – and the world as well.”
Mining companies from across the globe are already flocking to cash in on Sudan’s gold resources, with foreign investments helping boost exports and spearhead its growth. “ We have large amount of gold reserves in Sudan,” says Mr. Al-Karuri.
“We have found one place where studies show that there are about 8,000 tons of gold. This is in one position, so it is very encouraging and we are expecting to do well in the future.”
One foreign company that is investing heavily in Sudanese gold is Turkish-owned TAHE International Mining Inc. TAHE already produces around 25,000 ounces per year, but hopes to increase that figure to 100,000 ounces by 2016.
The company’s CEO, Taner Yilmaz, believes the boom could even kick-start growth in other sections of the economy.
“I am an investor who believes that within five years Sudan will get back to the economic level of revenue it was at before the division and perhaps even more by spreading out across different sectors,” he says. “That is why we came to invest in this country’s gold mining.”
(Photo credit: Mohammed Basheer)