South Sudan on Monday, signed a mineral exploration agreement with two American and Canadian mining and metal refining companies.
The pact was signed by South Sudan’s mining minister Gabriel Deng and executives of U.S.-based mining firm,REE-Magnesium and Canada’s CVMR Inc at the South Sudan embassy in Washington.
Deng said the agreement would allow the mining companies to conduct satellite imaging to map out mineral resources in the conflict-torn east African country.
“Today is a great day to begin real cooperation between South Sudan, U.S. 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.
Deng said the exploration pact also seeks to allow the South Sudanese government to tap into its mineral resources of petroleum, iron, copper, chromium, nickel, cobalt, zinc, tungsten, mica, silver, and gold, among others.
He said the signing came after top executives of CVMR and REE-Magnesium met in August with South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, in Juba, where they discussed ways of developing the country’s mineral sector.
Conflict-torn South Sudan has the third-largest oil reserves in sub-Saharan Africa, estimated at 3.5 billion barrels and much of the reserves being unexplored.
The country is also rich in wildlife and forest resources.
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed