Sudan opens up gold market to raise revenue

Sudan will now allow private traders to export gold, in an effort to curb smuggling and attract foreign currency into the country’s cash-strapped treasury.

Prior to this decision, the country’s central bank had been the sole body legally allowed to buy and export gold and set up centers to buy from small-scale miners.

The country’s Acting central bank governor, Badr al-Din Abdel Rahim Ibrahim, says the bank will end its gold purchases entirely.

Last week, a private company, Al-Fakher, became the first to take advantage of the new regulations, exporting an initial 155 kg.

Any additional revenue from the new system will help Sudan’s government cope with severe economic pressure as it looks to navigate a three-year political transition. 

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The country produced an estimated 93 tons of gold in 2018, making it Africa’s third biggest producer after South Africa and Ghana, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In new regulations circulated on Jan. 1, the country’s central bank declared that private mining companies can now export up to 70% of their production provided that proceeds are deposited in local banks. S

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