Wednesday, May 8th 06:28 PM IST

Iran wins Gold exploration bid in Sudan

# Iran gold  # Sudan gold  # "Mine an Metals"  

According to reports, Sudan has granted an Iranian firm called "Mine an Metals" a license to explore for gold in River Nile state north of Khartoum, where much of Sudan's gold comes from,.

KHARTOUM(BullionStreet): Three months after the visit of Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad to Khartoum, Sudan finally granted permission for an Iranian firm to explore for gold in the country.

According to reports, Sudan has granted an Iranian firm called "Mine an Metals" a license to explore for gold in River Nile state north of Khartoum, where much of Sudan's gold comes from,.

The move is likely to attract US led sanctions against the African country, which has been trying to attract more investment to explore for gold as it become the country's main source for dollars needed to fund imports after the loss of most oil production with South Sudan's secession.

Sudan has said it hopes to produce around 50 tonnes of gold this year, which would potentially make it Africa's third-largest gold miner behind South Africa and Ghana, and push it into the top 15 producers globally.

Sudan has handed out hundreds of gold exploration licences, mainly to firms from China, Arab and African countries, Russia and a few Western companies such as Canadians willing to do business with Sudan despite a U.S. trade embargo.

Sudan and Iran enjoy good ties - Bashir and Ahmadinejad have met several times in the past two years - but there are few signs of Iranian firms in Sudan apart from petrol stations run by Iran's state oil firm.

Ties between Sudan and Iran have come under scrutiny in recent months.

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