News / Africa

South Sudan Hopes New Mining Law Will Unearth Treasures

South Sudan Hopes New Mining Law Will Unearth Treasuresi
X
June 01, 2013 7:13 PM
South Sudan won independence and vast oil reserves in 2011, when it split from civil war foe Sudan. As the rocky relationship with its northern neighbor jeopardizes oil exports, however, the new nation hopes a new mining law will attract foreign companies to unearth its mineral treasures and secure its future fortune. Hannah McNeish reports from the country’s 'wild east,' where thousands of people armed only with picks and pans are hunting for gold.
South Sudan Hopes New Mining Law Will Unearth Treasures
Hannah McNeish
South Sudan won independence and vast oil reserves in 2011, when it split from civil war foe Sudan. As the rocky relationship with its northern neighbor jeopardizes oil exports, however, the new nation hopes a new mining law will attract foreign companies to unearth its mineral treasures and secure its future fortune. In the country’s “wild east,” thousands of people armed only with picks and pans are hunting for gold.

This “gold mine” in Nanakanak, Eastern Equatoria state, is just one of many spots across South Sudan’s east where a gold rush has hit.

Adele Natogo said that like countless others, she left her nine children and village - an eight-hour walk from Nanakanak - a month ago to sift through the endless piles of terracotta rubble for gold.

“There are so many people that have come here. They are all over the bush, everyone looking for gold. This is a big place,” said Natogo.

But many of the miners say the golden era of finding nuggets is over.

Now they squint at their plastic basins for the tiniest speck of gold and hope machines will arrive soon to help their hunt.

Trader Samuel Kivuva in the nearest town, Kapoeta, said that when foreigners gave metal detectors to artisanal miners last year, their yield more than doubled from 5 kilograms of gold per week.

“Per week they were collecting 12 kilograms of this gold and at least they were performing, not in the way of these people that use basins and whatever,” said Kivuva.

At the Ministry of Mines in Juba, undersecretary of mining Andu Ezbon Adde said the government suspended previous small-scale mining licenses while putting the finishing touches to a mining law aimed at pulling in big investors - and big money - to extract the gold, copper, iron ore and other metals thought to lie under the earth.

“Coming out of war, things were not well organized. Giving out the licenses was not well organized, so the government decided to stop any exploration work until the law has been signed. Now the law has been signed we are working on now what they call regulations, which may not be clear to the common man. So I’m sure that this year, we will be giving out licenses,” said Adde.

But until machines arrive to replace the picks and pans, farmers-turned-panners in this impoverished and drought-stricken region are tasked with uncovering the minerals that in years to come could wean the new nation off its dependency on oil revenue.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid