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6 dead in Sudan goldmine collapse

A gold mine in the Sudanese desert on 3 October 2011 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images]
A gold mine in the Sudanese desert on 3 October 2011 [ASHRAF SHAZLY/AFP/Getty Images]

The Sudanese authorities on Friday announced the deaths of six people following the collapse of deserted goldmines in the city of Wadi Halfa, north of the country.

Mubarak Ardoul, director of the Sudanese Company for Mineral Resources, disclosed on his Facebook page: "The collapse of abandoned mines in Nimra 2 station in Wadi Halfa led to the deaths of six local miners."

According to Ardoul, mines protection police officers are deployed at the accident scene to prevent the locals from approaching the abandoned mines.

Observers have reported that citizens dig for gold in mines without coordinating with the official authorities, while selling most of the gold they find outside the borders to benefit from exchange rate differences in parallel currency markets.

READ: Sudan imposes new controls over gold trade

The traditional mining operations carried out by Sudanese citizens in more than 800 sites across the country are part of a remarkably productive sector that employs around one million people, according to government estimates.

The Sudanese government did not ban domestic mining, but tried to regulate the sector as a large portion of the population work in the mining sector.

Sudan counts on gold as a primary source of foreign currency, after losing three-quarters of its oil revenues due to the secession of South Sudan in July 2011, costing the state 80 per cent of its foreign exchange resources.

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AfricaNewsSudan
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