Geological Research Authority of the Sudan (GRAS)
Ministry of Energy & Mining
P.O. Box 410, Khartoum 11111
Phone: +249-11-777939
Fax: +249-11-776681

Sudan Mines and Quarries Act

Republic of South Sudan

Mining And Minerals Sectors 
Honorable Stephen Dhieu Dau
Minister for Petroleum and Mining

Arkangelo Okwang Oler
Director General of Mineral Development | +211 (0) 921 376 848

James Yousif Kundu
Acting Director General of Geological Survey | +211 (0) 955 950 917

Government of South Sudan Website

Source: CIA Factbook


Geological Map of South Sudan

Sudan is largely underlain by Precambrian rocks in the centre and northeast, which were almost exclusively reactivated during the Neoproterozoic Pan-African tectono-thermal event (Mozambique Belt Orogeny). Large areas in the north are covered by continental clastic sequences of the predominantly Mesozoic Nubian cycle. Tertiary and younger basalts occur along the eastern border zone related to relatively recent activity from the East African Rift System (EARS). In very broad terms the geology of the country comprises largely unexposed cratonic basement of the Darfur, Bayuda and Nubian blocks with a series of accreted volcano-sedimentary terranes and ophiolites in the northeast exposed in the Red Sea hills; where intrusive Pan-African granitoids are numerous ranging in age from 570 - 590Ma, although some pegmatites are as young as 560Ma. A long period of pediplanation occurred after the main orogenic events and as a result unmetamorphosed Palaeozoic and Early Mesozoic rocks are uncommon in Sudan. The oldest major unit exposed comprises clastic sediments, evaporites and limestones of the Red Sea and Nubian Sandstone Groups.

Geology of South Sudan

South Sudan is underlain by metamorphic and granitic rocks belonging to the northern portion of the Tanganyika Craton bordered by gneissic rocks of the heterogeneous Sudan Shield that were subsequently deformed during the major end-Precambrian Pan African orogenic event, (Vail 1976, 1990). The geological framework of South Sudan comprises three main units: An extensive metamorphic Basement Complex and spatially associated granitic intrusions; locally developed, basaltic, rift volcanics and a widespread Tertiary-Quaternary cover sequence. The latter comprises poorly consolidated sands and clays, the Umm Rawaba Formation, plus younger superficial deposits and lateritic soils.
The Basement Complex is dominated by Proterozoic rocks of medium to high metamorphic grade with isolated areas of probably older higher grade granulitic rocks. In broad terms the Proterozoic metamorphic basement comprises three main units - variably banded and foliated granitic gneiss and migmatites, biotite-amphibole schist/amphibolites and calcareous meta-sediments and quartzose metasediments although modern mapping is required. The crystalline Basement Complex is the host for the majority of mineral occurrences recorded which are limited, the country lacking any significant mineral resource evaluation. Effusive basic volcanics, mainly basaltic lavas and tuffs are found in the south-eastern part of the country and are related to activity of the East African Rift system. The Neogene sequence comprises unconsolidated sands, gravels, clay sands and clays characterised by rapid facies changes with an estimated maximum thickness of 8,000m on geophysical evidence, It presently hosts most of the on-going oil exploration activity and numerous drill holes/wells have been sunk through the cover into the underlying basins. 


The country also has small deposits of chromite, copper, gold, gypsum, iron ore, mica, silver, tungsten, and zinc. In 2008 there was some recorded production of gold, silver, chromite, manganese and some industrial minerals which contributed a total of 0.6 per cent to the GDP. Gold production decreased by 15.7 per cent and continued its decline since its peak in 2005. Silver and manganese production for which Sudan was ranked 7th and 8th respectively in Africa remained virtually unchanged. Chromite production also decreased by 15.3 per cent in 2008. It was Africa’s fourth largest producer of chromite accounting for 0.3 per cent of total output. Salt production declined by nearly 13 per cent but output of talc, gypsum and kaolin remained at a similar level in 2008. Sudan is one of four African countries that produce talc. The gold mineralization of the Red Sea Hills area occurs within Niferdeib greenstone belts trending roughly north-east. They are from north to south: the Onib-Hamissana-Sol Hamed belt (Onib and Eight gold mines), the Serakoit-Gebeit-Fodikwan belt (Serakoit and Gebeit gold mines), the Ariab-Oshib-Arbaat belt, the Derudeb-Sinkat belt and the Karora belt.  

Oil & Gas in South Sudan

South Sudan produces nearly 75% of the former Republic of Sudan's total oil output of nearly a half million barrels per day. The Government of South Sudan derives about 98% of its budget revenues from oil. Oil is exported through two pipelines that run to refineries and shipping facilities at Port Sudan on the Red Sea. Currently mining in South Sudan is restricted to local areas of alluvial small-scale artisanal mining, dominantly for gold. Potentially a wide variety of minerals may be present based on the geology, known mineral deposits in neighbouring countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and reported occurrences in South Sudan, but reliable information is poorly documented and/or not readily accessible. Recent mining and exploration activities have concentrated on copper and gold. In addition there are indications of potential iron, aluminium, nickel, chrome, tin-tungsten and coltan metals mineralisation from the limited regional geochemical stream sediment and soil surveys undertaken to date.

"With independence on 9 July 2011, the Republic of South Sudan became both the newest and the most oil-dependent country in the world.

South Sudan has been blessed with oil wealth that, if managed responsibly, could provide for the long-term development and prosperity its citizens deserve. There are encouraging signs that the South Sudanese government is committed to ensuring this outcome. Indeed, the country’s emerging legal framework includes wide-ranging public reporting, contract allocation, and revenue management standards that draw from international best practice. However, implementation of these transparency and accountability measures will not be easy. It will require a concerted effort and prioritisation from across the government. It will also demand a genuine commitment to move beyond the legacy of closed-door oil sector management left by the country’s former rulers in Khartoum."  Source: Global Witness

Maps and images

Gold in Sudan

Gold Home

Gold in the Sudan

It was reported in September 2013 that the assured gold reserve for the companies working in the gold production is more than 374,103 tons, whereas the expected reserve is 700 tons.
A working paper on the contribution of minerals in the gross domestic product presented to the workshop on the contribution of the Ministry of Minerals in the national economy categorized the total reserve as Ariab Mining Company 180 tons, Manop (Manjim) Compay 96 tons and Omdurman Company (Ridha) 7 tons as well as the Sahara Company 4.2 tons, Al-Hajajiah Company 6.5 tons and Mahogani Company 4.59 tons.
The paper stated that Delgo Company 37.2 tons, Al-Nawati Company 5.76tons and Orashab Company 7.5 besides Ayat Company for Oil services 5.55 tons, Insan Wifix Company 6 tons and Hakan Hamadi Company 13.8 tons.
The paper detailed that the share of the government of Sudan in the assured gold reserve amounted to 26.19 tons, indicating that what was said emphasized contribution of mining sector in the national income.
The country’s annual gold production, over 40 tons that yielded around 2.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, has become an important source of foreign exchange. Sudan’s gold industry now ranks third on the continent, after Ghana and South Africa. According to the Sudanese government’s own reporting, gold accounted for almost 60% of the country’s overall exports in 2012.

The Sudan Ministry of Mining said in March 2013 that Sudan expects 20 more companies to start producing gold in 2013 and it will allocate more land for investors for mineral exploration. The Mining Minister, Kamal Abdel-Latif, said a total of 20 firms would start producing gold in 2013 after completing exploration studies. Until now, 13 firms have reached the production stage.
The Minister said much of Sudan's gold output comes from artisanal searchers - some 750 000 ordinary Sudanese search for gold at 106 sites across the country - and noted his government's readiness to allocate six more blocks for investors to search for minerals. Last week, the mining ministry said it had granted nine Russian companies a license to search for gold, chrome and other minerals.

Sudan has licensed almost 100 companies to search and produce gold as it seeks to boost its output of minerals to gain new sources of state income and of foreign currency needed to fund imports. Gold has now become Sudan's biggest export, partially replacing oil revenues which made up more than 50% of state income until 2011. The government is hoping for a gold output of around 50 tonnes in 2013, worth around $2.5-billion, 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.

Escalating waves of violence since January 2013 in North Darfur have plunged the region into the worst humanitarian crisis in years. The Jebel ‘Amer gold mine, in Al Sareif Beni Hussein locality of North Darfur, was the source of a deadly conflict between the Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes.

Sudan's Central Bank Places Moratorium On Gold Ore Exports
12 DECEMBER 2012

Khartoum — The Central Bank of Sudan (CBoS) on Wednesday issued a ban on the exports of gold ore effective January 2013, state media reported.
No reason was given for the decision but the report stated that CBoS will focus on developing marketing channels for it locally through the establishment of precious-metals exchange in Sudan.
Gold mining firms will be allowed to export in line with CBoS policies and only after refining it in the newly built Khartoum refinery.
The government had said that the state-run refinery opened last Septemberin the capital will help reduce the amount of ore smuggled overseas to places such as Dubai. Producers would receive more money for the higher-quality gold, reducing the incentive to smuggle, the state says.
CBoS has tried to end smuggling by buying up gold from local traders, even above market prices, according to industry sources speaking to Reuters.
Sudan says that gold production hit 34 tonnes this year through September compared to 10 tonnes during the same period in 2011.
The East African country is looking for gold to make up for the budget deficit it incurred as a result of losing three quarters of its oil production due to the secession of South Sudan in July of last year.
Sudan hopes to sell 50 tonnes of gold worth up to approximately $3 billion this year, double last year's gold revenue.

The gold mineralization of the Red Sea Hills area occurs within Niferdeib greenstone belts trending roughly north-east. They are from north to south: the Onib-Hamissana-Sol Hamed belt (Onib and Eight gold mines), the Serakoit-Gebeit-Fodikwan belt (Serakoit and Gebeit gold mines), the Ariab-Oshib-Arbaat belt, the Derudeb-Sinkat belt and the Karora belt.

In the Ariab area, 10 gold-bearing volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits have been identified and investigated.
  • La Mancha Resources Inc owns a 40% interest in the Hassaï mine, located in the north-eastern part of Sudan. In 2012, La Mancha had outlined an Indicated resource of over 80 million tonnes containing 3.3 million ounces of gold and 900,000 tonnes of copper, and an Inferred resource of 37.0 Mt containing 1.4 million ounces of gold and 400,000 tonnes of copper. The remaining ownership of the mine is held by Sudanese government agencies and by French private entities, respectively comprising of a 56% and 4% ownership share. Hassaï mine produced 34,760 oz of gold attributable to La Mancha in 2007. Preliminary exploration work is being done in the Mt. Nuba area.
The Hassai Gold Mine
  • Gebeit is an ancient gold mine, which was worked intermittently between 1904 and1989. Reserves in 1986 were estimated to be 375 000 t at a grade of 15 g/t Au.
  • Arab Mining, a joint venture between the government (60%) and La Source, started production at the Hadal Auatib Gold Mine in 1991.
  • Compagnie Miniere Or operates the Ariab Mbabane (Inguessana Hills) mine which reportedly produces 5 t of gold per year.
A general view shows the Ariab company gold mine in the Sudanese desert, 800km northeast of the capital Khartoum, on October 3, 2011.
  • The VMS deposits of the Ariab area are Habdul Auteb, Oderuk, Hassai, Talaideruk, Baderuk, Hassai North, Komoeb, H Veins and Ganeit. The combined gold content has been estimated at 32,8 t.
  • New Kush Exploration and Mining Company has shown interest in mining gold from Kapoeta East County of Eastern Equatoria state. New Kush Exploration and Mining Company are a merger of two companies-British and South African.
  • In May 2011, Equator Gold Ltd signed an earn-in agreement with South Sudanese company Consolidated Mineral & Energy Resources Investment Co Ltd. (CMERIC), under which the Group is earning staged interests of up to 85% in the Upper Luri exploration licence by conducting and funding exploration.
    Equator’s exploration has been successful so far, having identified three targets, of which two are drill-ready.
    The Confluence target, a well-defined soil geochemical gold anomaly of up to 4.2g/t more than 5km long and 200m across, with many values >1g/t.  Trenching revealed extensive quartz veining and a drill programme is planned to test the target, which has the potential to be a multi-million ounce gold deposit.
    The GT target, a gold-bearing quartz vein complex at least 0.5km long, from which a composite grab sample assayed 11.7 g/t. Equator’s teams have systematically sampled the structure at outcrop and further assays are awaited.
    The Togolo target, the source of prolific alluvial gold in the Togolo River, which we expect to delimit from soil geochemical surveys that now cover the entire drainage basin of the river.
    All three targets lie in a metavolcanic “greenstone” sequence. Large areas of these prospective rocks remain to be surveyed. Equator’s objective is to define a Kibali style gold “camp” with several large resources around a central plant.
Iron Ore

Iron in the Sudan

Oil and Natural Gas

Proven reserves

Oil: 3 500mmbbls
Gas: 3.0Tc

The national oil company is Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet)

The key players are

Dar Petroleum
Operating Company
Sudd Petroleum
Operating Company
Greater Nile Petroleum
Operating Company
Tri-Ocean Energy

Highlights in 2014

•  Most of the oil in South Sudan has already been produced, but being landlocked, it remains dependent on Sudan for its export pipelines and processing facilities.

• Under normal circumstances, oil exports account for nearly 90% of the South Sudanese government revenue.

• South Sudan represents the largest equity production source for Chinese oil & gas companies outside of China.

Recent developments

• Oil production in the country has been disrupted significantly by hostilities between different southern factions. In January 2012, South Sudan voluntarily shut in all of its oil production due to a dispute with Sudan over oil transport tariffs. Many oil & gas companies evacuated their expatriate and local workers from various parts of the country until the situation stabilises.

• Despite a recent ceasefire, fighting continues to disrupt the oil sector in South Sudan, especially in the Unity state where operations have been shut in. The fighting has caused damage to infrastructure, meaning that repairs will be required to return to previous production levels in Blocks 1 and 4 of Unity state, which produces Nile Blend crude.

• The Upper Nile fields have been largely unaffected by the violence, but they could become targets for rebels as the fields and their pipeline infrastructure are the only high-value assets remaining vulnerable in the country.

• Regardless of the violence, oil production in the country is declining as fields are becoming more mature. The Government has ambitions to grow production and increase recoverability, but this has not yet been realised.
• The country is also experiencing a lack of investment as well as a shortage of skilled workers.

Click HERE for an overview

Sudan is developing its significant hydrocarbon resources. The country’s oil exports, which have increased sharply since the completion of a major oil-export pipeline in 1999, account for 70 percent of total export revenues. Additional growth in Sudan’s hydrocarbon sector will likely occur with a refurbished infrastructure, which has seen little improvement since the beginning of the country’s civil conflicts in 1955. As of January 2007, according to the Sudanese Minister of State for Energy and Mines, Sudan is considering joining the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) at some point in the future.
According to Oil and Gas Journal (OGJ), Sudan contained proven oil reserves of five billion barrels as of January 2007 up from an estimated 563 million barrels of proven oil reserves in 2006. The majority of proven reserves are located in the south in the Muglad and Melut basins. Due to civil conflict, oil exploration has mostly been limited to the central and south-central regions of the country. It is estimated that vast potential reserves are held in northwest Sudan, the Blue Nile basin, and the Red Sea area in eastern Sudan.
The Sudan National Petroleum Corporation (Sudapet) is active in Sudan’s oil exploration and production. However, due to its limited technical and financial resources, Sudapet often develops joint ventures with foreign companies in oil projects. Foreign companies involved in Sudan’s oil sector are primarily from Asia. They are led by the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Malaysia’s Petronas.

In October 2005, Sudan established the National Petroleum Commission (NPC) to bolster the development of the country’s oil resources. To accomplish its mission, NPC allocates new oil contracts, and it ensures an equal sharing of oil revenues between the national government in Khartoum and the Government of South Sudan (GoSS). In addition, NPC is responsible for resolving duplicate oil contract issues in which the GoSS has allocated contracts overlapping contracts previously granted by Khartoum. NPC is currently scrutinizing duplicate contracts given to Total and White Nile Ltd. over Block B and the White Nile Petroleum Operation Company (WNPOC) and Ascom Group of Moldavia over Block 5b. President Bashir is believed to co-chair the NPC with Vice-President Salva Kiir, who also heads the GoSS.
Oil production has risen steadily since the July 1999 completion of an export pipeline that runs from central Sudan to the Port of Sudan. In 2006, crude oil production averaged 414,000 barrels per day (bbl/d), up from 363,000 bbl/d in 2005. According to Angelina Tany, Minister of State for Mines and Energy, Sudan plans to be producing one million bbl/d of crude oil by the end of 2008.
China accounts for 60% of oil exports from Sudan. China obtained oil exploration and production rights in 1995 when the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) bought a 40% stake in the Greater Nile Petroleum Operating Company, which is pumping over 300,000 barrels per day. Sinopec, another Chinese firm, is building a 1500-kilometer pipeline to Port Sudan on the Red Sea, where China’s Petroleum Engineering Construction Company is constructing a tanker terminal.

  • Oil production: 344,700 bbl/day (2004 est.)
  • Oil exports: 275,000 bbl/day (2004)
  • Oil proved reserves: 1.6 billion bbl (2006 est.)
  • Natural gas proved reserves: 84.95 billion cu m (1 January 2005 est.)