Khartoum — The Sudanese Mineral Resources Company announced the production of more than 18 tons of gold during 2022, describing it as the highest productivity in the history of the mineral sector in Sudan.
The Director of the General Administration for Supervision and Control of Production Companies, Engineer Alaeldin Ali, said in a press statement on Monday that the production rate of gold for the year 2022 amounted to 18 tons and 637 kilograms from the production of the organised sector of concession companies and companies dealing with traditional mining waste.
He pointed out that productivity increased by one ton and 611 kilograms, compared to the highest production in the last period, which was achieved in 2019.
Sudan is one of the largest producers of gold in Africa, however production is often driven by unregulated, artisanal (individual subsistence) mining, and routine gold smuggling across international borders is a constant problem.
It is estimated that between 50 per cent and 80 per cent of Sudan's gold is smuggled out of the country, with proceeds frequently used to finance the internal conflict.
Central Bank of Sudan issued a new circular to banks and related authorities in March 2022, banning the export of gold by government agencies and foreigners, individuals, and companies, excluding concession companies operating in mining. The circular also limits the role of the Central Bank of Sudan to purchasing gold for the purpose of building reserves only.
In July 2022, CNN published an investigation that had been seven months in the making disclosing how "Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin's war effort in Ukraine" with the complicity of Sudanese military rulers.
CNN's investigation shows the extent to which Russia smuggles gold out of Sudan, bypassing the county's official gold export regulations.
At least 16 known instances of Russian gold smuggling flights out of Sudan, have occurred in the past year and a half, the investigation report explained.
Interviews with high-level Sudanese and US officials suggest the existence of 'an elaborate Russian scheme' to plunder Sudan's gold reserves to strengthen Russian wealth in the face of Western sanctions.