An Egyptian Company, BTC Global, launched the first and only gold refinery in South Sudan to buy and sell raw gold. The company will also mine, refine and export gold.
At the launch in Juba’s Munuki area on Thursday, South Sudan’s Vice President in charge of Infrastructures clusters Taban Deng Gai said the main challenge the refinery will face includes dealing with artels in the gold mining areas.
“It is not going to be an easy thing because there are cartels or mafias in those places mainly the Somalis, they are the ones selling our gold to Kenya and Uganda. They will be a problem especially when you want to buy gold from there they will increase the price of gold,” he stated. “But you will defeat them because you are operating officially under the laws of South Sudan.”
VP Taban encouraged young South Sudanese entrepreneurs to join the gold business as suppliers.
“To young South Sudanese, this is an important opportunity for you; you can work as the suppliers of gold to BTC. Please go Kapoeta, Lobonok, and Chukudum and do the gold business,” he directed.
William Aliga Bethsmith, a representative from the ministry of mining hailed BTC Global for installing the refinery in the country.
Aliga urged the company to work with the artisanal miners who are involved in mining saying the country has not ventured into industrial mining.
“Coming to the supply of gold, this is the most important aspect that you need to be very robust in, whereby you need to work hand in hand with the artisanal miners in South Sudan because for now, these are the people who are mining the gold. South Sudan doesn’t have industrial mining and it still uses artisanal mining,” he stated.
The ministry of mining says it will be in full support of BTC Global operations.
Aligo also cautioned the company to take the health and safety of the people living near the refinery.
Yel Luoi Koor, the undersecretary in the ministry of investment said there is a need for diversification of the country’s economy from oil dependency to other sectors.
“People should move away from petroleum and go to other sectors such as agriculture, mining, and tourism,” he said.
Meanwhile, Raafat Mostafa, a representative of BTC Global said the project will enhance development for the people of South Sudan.
“We believe that this project will bring a positive impact on the people of South Sudan over the next years. Today we share the passion for a common mission to dig the golden opportunities and we look forward to achieving those milestones with our new family here in South Sudan,” he stated.
David Yau Yau, an elder from one of the gold-rich areas of the Greater Pibor Administrative Area said the launch of the refinery was a blessing for South Sudan.
“We will be blessed in the Republic of South Sudan to have such kind of company that deals with refinery and other exploratory parts of mining in the Republic of South Sudan. This is part of development,” he stated.
BTC Global comes from 85 years in the Egyptian market, leading bullion trading and gold refining in Egypt and the Middle East.