Sudan Now Allowing Private Mining Firms to Export Gold
Sudan has enacted a new policy allowing private mining companies to export 70% of their stocks, the goal being to curb smuggling, offset a staggering foreign debt and finance government programs to help the country transition to democracy. The only stipulation is that the miners convert their foreign currency into Sudanese pounds at the official exchange rate through the country’s central bank, and then deposit the proceeds locally. Previously, only the central bank could export gold. Sudan is Africa’s third-largest gold producing nation, with some 93 tons having been mined in 2018. It lost much of its foreign earning potential when South Sudan seceded in 2011, taking most of the country’s oil fields. Miners are not entirely happy with the new policy. They must sell the remaining 30% of their production to the state. In addition, they note that the official exchange rate is barely half of the black market rate, meaning they will end up with fewer Sudanese pounds than they would if allowed to exchange the currency on their own.