17th October 2019
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Gov’t signs mineral exploration deal with U.S, Canadian firms

Author: Koang Pal Chang | Published: 4 weeks ago

Gov't delegation with representatives of the US & Canadian companies during the signing ceremony in Washington DC- US/September 12, 2019/Photo Credit: South Sudan Embassy in Washington DC

The government has signed a deal with the U.S and Canada based companies to facilitate satellite imaging of mineral resources in South Sudan. 

On Thursday last week, a delegation from South Sudan, headed by the Minister of Mining, Gabriel Thokuj Deng, met with the executives of three corporations from Canada and the United States at the South Sudanese Embassy in Washington D.C.

In a press release extended to Eye Radio, the government delegation were in the United States and Canada to sign an agreement to map the total mineral reserves in the country.

According to the statement, the companies were directed by President Salva Kiir to assist the government in its plans to establish a resource bank.

The companies also are expected to help develop its organic farming and hydropower industries, over and above mapping of the total mineral reserves of the country.

For his part, the Minister of Mining welcomed the cooperation agreement signed between the government and the companies.

“Today is a great day to begin real cooperation between South Sudan, US, and Canada to unlock the mineral wealth of my country. It has been quite a long time that South Sudan has been waiting for this day,” he said.

“South Sudan is committed through the guidance and close supervision of the President of South Sudan to fulfill its commitments to the international community and its business obligations to corporations such as CVMR and REE Magnesium.”

“Now that I have signed the first agreement with these Canadian and American companies, let us start the business and share the wealth,” Deng said.

According to the statement, the satellite imaging of the minerals of this resource-rich country would allow its government to tap into its mineral resources of petroleum, iron, copper, chromium, nickel, cobalt, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, and gold, much more efficiently.

It said the country also has plenty of hydropower.

The Nile River whose many tributaries have sources in this country runs north from the center of the country all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The statement added.

The statement said South Sudan’s current crude oil supply is channeled through a long pipeline through North Sudan. South Sudan needs sufficient capital to initiate the building of a new pipeline in order to enable it to increase its capacity for planned production and export of its oil and to build a petrochemical plant in the country.

The current oil production of South Sudan is controlled by the largest overseas consortium, known as the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company (GNPOC).

It is composed of the following members: China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) of the People’s Republic of China with 40% shares in the consortium; Petronas of Malaysia with 30%; Oil and Natural Gas Corporation of India with 25% stake and Sudapet of North Sudan with 5% of the shares.

Due to North Sudan’s presence on the United Nations’ list of state sponsors of terrorism and Khartoum’s insistence upon receiving a share of the profits from any oil deal South Sudan conducts internationally.

The sanction on Sudan has also prevented the U.S oil companies from doing business with South Sudan.

As such, US companies have virtually no presence in the South Sudanese oil sector. It seems that South Sudan and US major oil companies are being punished for the sins of its neighbor to the north.

The Minister emphasized the fact that South Sudan would welcome U.S oil companies and that he hopes that his visit to the United States can highlight this fact.

“In fact, South Sudan is being punished, unjustly, for the misbehavior of the previous government of North Sudan. We all hope that the United States government would revisit this fact and can find a way to remedy the situation to the benefit of US corporations and South Sudanese people,” Chairman of CVMR Corporation added.

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