SMM1, March 10-Sudan has begun allowing private traders to export gold, a measure aimed at cracking down on smuggling and attracting foreign currencies to the troubled treasury.
So far, Sudan's central bank has been the only institution legally allowed to buy and sell gold, and the central bank has set up trading centres to buy gold from small miners.
The acting central bank governor said the bank would stop buying gold altogether.
Last week, al-Fakher, a little-known private company, was the first to take advantage of the new law to export 155kg of gold.
Any additional revenue from the country's new gold regulatory regime will help the Government of the Sudan to cope with severe economic pressure as it attempts to pass a three-year political transition period. Because the current government is based on a civil-military power-sharing agreement reached after President Omaral-Bashir was ousted from office in 2019.
Sudan's Minister of Energy and Mines, AdilIbrahim, had previously said that Sudan produced 93 tons of gold in 2018, according to data released by the United States Geological Survey. The country is the third largest gold producer in Africa after South Africa and Ghana.
In a new gold regulation issued on January 1st, the central bank said private mining companies could now export 70 per cent of their production as long as mining proceeds were deposited with local banks. The remaining 30 per cent must be sold to the central bank.
In addition to being used for mining operations, these mining companies must also sell any foreign exchange they earn directly to the central bank at the official exchange rate. The official exchange rate is 45 Sudanese pounds to the dollar and the black market rate is 88 Sudanese pounds to the dollar.
Domestic gold traders in Sudan welcomed the central bank's move to open up exports.
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