Sudan aims to increase gold production in 2018

Gold bars. (Reuters)
Updated 28 December 2017
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Sudan aims to increase gold production in 2018

KHARTOUM: Sudan is aiming to raise its production of gold to 110 tons in 2018 to become the ninth biggest producer in the world and the second biggest in Africa, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.
China is the world’s largest producer of gold, at 450 tons per year.
The Sudanese Ministry of Minerals, through its supervisory and technical arm (the Sudanese Mineral Resources Company), said in a statement on Wednesday that its production of gold amounted to 103 tons up until December, and that this figure was equal to 107% of this year’s production target.
The company also said that total revenues amounted to SDG1.9 billion ($0.27 million).
Sudan has seen significant activity in the extraction and exploration of gold during the past five years, and more than 450 local and international companies operate in this field.
The Ministry of Minerals plans to regulate the traditional mining market and establish about 40 gold-trading markets. It announced on Wednesday that it plans to set up an international gold stock exchange at the beginning of 2018 to curb smuggling of the precious metal. Sudan exports only one quarter of the gold that it produces while the rest is smuggled.
It is expected that the new stock exchange will help to stop these illegal practices.
Minister of Minerals Hashim Ali Salem said in a press statement that Sudan had only consumed one percent of its reserves of gold and other minerals, which is estimated at 500 tons of gold and 1.5 billion tons of iron, in addition to precious and rare stones.
The minister also revealed a plan to nationalize the production of 18 minerals including salt, mica, white sand and marble.


JC Decaux pursues $810 million bid for Australia billboard firm APN

Updated 35 min 14 sec ago
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JC Decaux pursues $810 million bid for Australia billboard firm APN

PARIS: French outdoor advertising company JC Decaux said it was still in talks with Australian billboard firm APN Outdoor Group over its offer to buy APN, currently worth around $810 million.
The statement from JC Decaux came after APN itself lost out in a bid for advertising firm Adshel, part of a series of deals in the lucrative Australian outdoor advertising market. The French group is one of four companies controlling an industry estimated to be worth some $660 million in Australia.
JC Decaux’s offer had in fact been conditional upon APN scrapping its $424 bid for HT&E’s Adshel outdoor advertising division Adshel. A deal for APN to buy Adshel would have increased the competitive pressure on JC Decaux’s local business.
JC Decaux, which sells ads on bus stops and billboards, has offered A$6.52 per APN share, valuing APN at around A$1.09 billion ($808.8 million).
“Until a transaction is agreed between the parties, there is no certainty that the proposal will result in any transaction. JC Decaux will continue to update the market in relation to the proposal,” JC Decaux said in a statement.
Last week, APN had called JC Decaux’s offer “modest” and had decided against backing down on its proposal to buy Adshel. In the event, APN was beaten out by rival Ooh!Media Ltd. in the fight to buy Adshel.
JC Decaux shares were up 0.5 percent on Monday, while shares in APN had been temporarily suspended.
APN and Ooh!Media rank first and second in the billboards and outdoor advertising market in Australia, according to research firm IBISWorld. JC Decaux ranks as the third-biggest in Australia, while HT&E ranks fourth.
The mergers and acquisitions activity within the Australian outdoor advertising sector has drawn close scrutiny from regulators, which had last year blocked a merger between APN and Ooh!Media.