19th April 2024
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Foreign companies illegally mining gold in states: Mathok

Author: Emmanuel J. Akile | Published: Friday, March 1, 2024

A gold-mining site in Faka, Ngauro area, Eastern Equatoria State | Credit | Jale Richard/Eye Radio

The Minister of Investment said some state governments are dealing with unregistered foreign companies in mining sector without remitting the revenue to the national government.

Dr. Dhieu Mathok said there is no single foreign mining company registered with the national government.

“You can see even mining is not appearing (on the PowerPoint slides). It is because they (companies) are not registered,” Mathok said at the Second Juba Economic Forum.

“They are doing mining in South Sudan with the local or state governments and there is a lot of money coming out of mining, but they are not coming to the national treasury, they are going direct to foreign companies.”

He said some companies export crude gold to the neighboring countries without permission from the national government.

“The gold is being taken from South Sudan, they are refined in the neighboring countries and then go to international market as produced from that particular country.”

“So, you can see we don’t even have companies which are registered to do mining in South Sudan, despite the fact that it is one of the businesses now that are being set in the states and counties of South Sudan.”

However, Eastern Equatoria Governor Louis Lobong Lojore dismissed allegations of large-scale minerals mining in parts of the state, in a speech at the 7th Governors Forum in December 2023.

Lobong said there are no such mining activities in the state, except for artisanal activities that he said are common in the area.

According to him, there was only one licensed company carrying out small-scale mining at Ngawro, but which was previously shut down twice due to lack of transparency.

Responding to Lobong’s remarks in the same event, First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar said mining is not only taking place in Eastern Equatoria State but in other states as well.

He disclosed that there are 93 licenses have been issued to exploration companies and 19 small-scale companies.

“It’s confirmed that we have 74 exploration licenses and 19 small-scale licenses, making a total of 93 mineral titles. Out of this 41 are active licenses, 4 are expired licenses, 38 are pending revocation, additionally there 10 mineral titles that are pending registration,” Machar disclosed.




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