From All Africa.
Thousands of people armed with picks are panning for gold in South Sudan’s east, where a new mining law has been implemented in the hopes it will stimulate foreign investment.
A gold mine in Nanakanak, Eastern Equatoria state, is one of many spots across South Sudan’s east where a gold rush has hit, according to a report in All Africa.
Adele Natogo left her nine children and village an eight-hour walk away to sift through piles of terracotta rubble for gold.
“There are so many people that have come here,” she was quoted as saying in All Africa. “They are all over the bush, everyone looking for gold. This is a big place.”
But the pickings are slim, said Trader Samuel Kivuva.
South Sudan won independence from Sudan in 2011.
The government had previously stopped giving small-scale mining licenses while it finalized a mining law aimed at pulling in big investors and big money to mine gold, copper, iron ore and other metals thought to lie under the eastern region, said Juba Ministry of Mines Undersecretary, Andu Ezbon Adde, in the report.
“Now the law has been signed, we are working on 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,” Adde said.
But until machines arrive to replace the picks and pans, farmers-turned-panners in this impoverished and drought-stricken region have been hired to uncover the minerals, the report says.
Read more at All Africa.