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Gold Mining, Sudan

There are more than 40,000 gold mining sites in Sudan. About 60 gold processing companies are operating in 13 states of the country.


There are more than 40,000 gold mining sites in Sudan. About 60 gold processing companies are operating in 13 states of the country, 15 of them in South Kordofan. [1]

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Gold Mining, Sudan
State or province:South Kordofan
Location of conflict:Kalogi
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Mineral Ores and Building Materials Extraction
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Mineral ore exploration
Tailings from mines
Mineral processing
Specific commodities:Gold
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The Geological Research Authority of Sudan (GRAS) estimated that every week between 50 and 100 kilograms of extracted gold are sent to Khartoum for black market sale and export. 75 per cent of gold gets smuggled. And smuggling is being enabled by the inconsistency of policies regulating the sector, monetary policies, corruption and militia control of the gold producing area of Jebel Amir. Between 2010 and 2014, more than $4.5 billion worth of gold was smuggled from Sudan to the United Arab Emirates, according to the report of the U.N. panel of experts. [4]

Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:2015
Company names or state enterprises:Sudanese Company for Mining from Sudan
Ariab Gold Mining Company
Orca Gold
Siberian Golden Stone from Russian Federation
Azhab El Amin Company from Saudi Arabia
Relevant government actors:Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Physical Development
Ministry of Minerals
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:The National Environmental Advocacy Committee
Sudan Democracy First Group:
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Artisanal miners
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Threats to use arms
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Militarization and increased police presence, Increase in violence and crime
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Corruption
Criminalization of activists
Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Violent targeting of activists
Proposal and development of alternatives:Different demands are being submitted in differents parts of Sudan affected by gold mining. Some want the complete dismantling of mining factories. Others want the reduction of the use of cyanide and other toxic chemicals that affect the population and the environment as well as safer working conditions. Others want the implementation of stricter environmental standards and regulation.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The government has tried to introduce regulations for the million people employed in the industry, especially in gold mines. But most operations in Sudan are rudimentary and rely on traditional extraction methods. Mining accidents are commonplace - 60 miners were killed in one accident last year when their tunnel collapsed. Other dangers are posed by the materials used to extract gold such as mercury, which has resulted in high cancer rates among workers.
In addition, a recent report by the Enough Project found that gold mining and mineral extraction in the country was directly responsible for war crimes in the country’s south. In those areas, civilians living around gold mining sites have suffered killings, mass rape, and the torching of their homes and fields at the hands of armed groups, including the Sudanese army and tribal militias fighting with government backing.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[4] - The Politics of Mining and Trading of Gold in Sudan: Challenges of Corruption and Lack of Transparency
[click to view]

[10] - Fool's Gold: The Case for Scrutinizing Sudan's Conflict Gold Trade
[click to view]

[1] - Sudanese environment expert warns for the use of cyanide in gold mining
[click to view]

[2] - Two killed in South Kordofan dispute over gold extraction plant
[click to view]

[3] - Student succumbs to bullet wounds in anti-mining protest, South Kordofan
[click to view]

[5] - Gold mining to increase in Sudan's South Kordofan
[click to view]

[6] - Police kill anti-mining rioter in Sudan's River Nile
[click to view]

[7] - Wali: Police secure disputed mining site in Sudan's River Nile state
[click to view]

[8] - Gulf companies investing in Sudanese gold despite 'war-crimes links'
[click to view]

[9] - Miners facing the abyss in Egypt and Sudan
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Sudanese miners risk health for gold
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Christophe Maroun - [email protected]
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3391
Legal notice / Aviso legal
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