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South Sudanese minister signs mining order

JUBA – South Sudan’s petroleum and mining minister on Thursday signed an order meant to regulate the extraction of minerals in the world’s youngest nation.

The order, Stephen Dhieu Dau said, is in line with the Mining Act 2012.

“By signing this regulations today as we completed the legal framework this is the message for everybody, for governments at all levels and all who are illegally working on mining activities they have to stop,” Dau told reporters in the capital, Juba.

“And we have to abide by the regulations. We don’t want to go to the courts or to arrest or to imprison people because they are violating the laws, and nobody above the law,” he added, warning against any illegal mining activities existing in the country.

The minister was optimistic the new regulations will attract investors to the mining sector.

“The signing of mining minerals title regulations today means a conducive atmosphere and open up South Sudan for investment in the mining sector,” Dhieu added.

REDUCE OIL DEPENDENCY

South Sudan relies on oil to fund up to 98% of its budget. However, its oil production declined by about a third since fighting broke out in the country in December 2013.

But concerns have been raised about the current decline in prices of crude oil in global markets with South Sudan looking at minerals to reduce dependency on oil resources.

South Sudan president Salva Kiir signed into law a 2012 Mining Act permitting foreign entities to explore the country’s minerals and reversed earlier licenses it had imposed prior to South Sudan’s July 2011 independence from its northern neighbor.

In related news, Juba and Khartoum begin oil fee negotiations.

This article was from Sudan Tribune and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.