opinion

The Role of Mineral Economics in Achieving Sustainable Development in Sudan

Dr. Yassir M. Alobaid

The importance of mineral economics is driven from its interest in the strategic mining industry, following continual decline in revenue, mostly coming from exporting resources as raw materials, faced by most of the developing countries.


Exporting in terms of raw materials results in a loss of a significant comparative advantage, such as benefiting from added value that provides greater earnings of foreign currency.

Mining and the mining industry are considered the most capable economic sectors for implementing a sustainable development strategy based on their forward and backward simultaneous impacts.


The mining industry is privileged with more opportunities for creating impact through the availability of essential elements, raw materials, and production inputs.

Development and Planning

Economies have differed through their development in terms of types of mining industries, the targeted industry in which minerals are to be given priority in development planning programs.


A strategy for manufacturing metals is based on greater degree on heavy industry such as iron and steel industry.

This depends on many elements that should be available starting with the funding, size of capital to be utilized, and creation of local, regional and international markets while on the other hand, a policy of light industry in the mining industry will be based on construction materials and others.


The engineering of the mining sector is considered one of the first facts revealed by development piloting in minerals economics and mining industry in developing countries.


This is because the ability of a society to develop and attain higher levels of progress is not limited by the size of available economical resources, plus the society’s ability to grow and achieve higher rates of progress is not contingent on the size of available economic resources but depends primarily on how successful the community is in exploiting these available resources which in turns depends on the decision of economical projects in the localization of mining projects industry.


Hence, the minerals sector requires a strategy that is in need for projects which in turn is in need for transformation tasks.

Prospects

The projects and ideas that could be presented for supporting minerals economics are uncountable and unlimited, and this makes the strategic plan for transformation in need for suitable projects and tasks to achieve the transformation objectives.


This can be achieved through applying a modern mechanism for the process of investment in huge mineral resources in Sudan.


Projects and tasks for growth strategies and preparation for growth lead to implementation of social and economic development strategies. They will also lead to improvements in qualitative research and development.


This will address the challenges and risks resulting from net cash flows to the mining sector which is in need of studies and huge efforts in research and development. It is also in need for modern methods of management and new ways of working that will contribute to achieving the overall objectives of the mining sector in the next and subsequent stages.


With all these comes the importance of data collection and analysis as well as organizing the information related to the internal and external environment of the mining industry.


We should bear in mind that this requires the involvement of experts in geology and economics as well as those responsible for the mining sector in Sudan in the smart strategic and economic dynamic.
All should also be involved in the monitoring and mineral resources development sector and adopt successful strategies in this field. Through this, we can minimize the various challenges for utilization of available opportunities.


Data can be collected through mining statistics which is considered an element of mineral and economical activities that has a high importance in discovering major opportunities in the mining sector.
These opportunities are critical for the sector’s development in order to achieve diversity in income sources, and to guarantee a sustainable development.

Role In Sudan

This leads to the utilization of economic opportunities in mineral resources’ investment, job creation, support balance of payments, and fighting poverty for residents of neighboring areas. It is important to cater for environmental protection through subjecting all the mining operations to environmental and social impact studies.


From this comes the need for enhancing the status and role of the mining industry in Sudan to support its integration into the global mining industry structure. It is important also to realize the need of the Sudanese economy for income from this wealth, and the requirements for investing in this sector and its significant financial and social benefits to the national economy.


This can come out of mineral ores and resources such as iron, copper, silver, industrial and rare metals, and others.
This is highlighted especially in what is witnessed by the mining field in the recent evolution in research, exploration, extraction and manufacturing.


Mining projects are among large development projects that are associated with high financial expenditure compared to development projects of other activities starting with geological research cost and ending by the cost of extraction of ores and preparing them for the market or for further processing.


In all cases, these costs should be considered under all circumstances.
This consideration should be made irrespective of the fluctuation in prices of these ores in the international market or the impact of international monopoly over minerals.


We need to be careful in analyzing and the calculating cash flows expected from mining and the economic and financial viability of that, besides considerations should be given to the challenge faced by the sector in exploitation and investment under international economic blocs , liberalization of trade and the development of the world trade organization and what it imposes in challenges for the industrial sector and the prospects of its development.

Importance and Growth

All these challenges, with all the obstacles they pose and surmounting difficulties, also represent an incentive for working to monitor the locations of defect, determine weaknesses, and search for solutions to support this sector.


This is especially important to the mining sector in Sudan, which witnessed a steady growth during the last four years, where it exceeded 215% in 2015 and 345% in the first half of 2016.


The key importance of the mining sector comes from minerals providing one of the main venues for diversifying income sources, thus it allows diversifying the economic base through developing its economic programs and creating an attractive investment climate that encourages foreign investment in various economic sectors, mining, and associated industries.


In order to develop and optimize the utilization of the mineral wealth, we need to accompany a comprehensive and integrated perspective that caters to the states’ needs for these resources in order to attain the promising financial economic and social benefits expected from the mining sector.


The sector requires coordination and integration between industrial sectors.


This will allow the sector to move towards into the geo economical stage and prove its ability to face the global economic competition, enter world markets, and allow it access to regional and international minerals stock markets.


The industry can be developed through smart partnerships between the mineral sector and foreign companies, and integrating and provision of the prerequisites for competition to be able to overcome challenges and difficulties.


When maintaining and developing this industry, there should also be the establishment and continuous strengthening of cooperation at the level of exploring mineral investigation provision of required financial allocation, mobilizing resources, and conducting detailed studies and evaluation of minerals ores.


There are laws and legislation for mining and investment represented in the law for mineral wealth that supports the activities of research, development provision of data activation of the role of private sector, and exchange of equipment for minerals production.


In addition to maximizing the advantages of foreign markets, and supporting horizontal integration through mergers and subcontracting which should achieve mutual benefits for this sector, this is also a major economic and industrial opportunity that will enhance economic growth, alleviate poverty and sustainable development in the mining sector, as well as usher in industrialized production and marketing


This can be attained through the development of mechanisms to promote investment.


It will support the private sector and promote it to exploit opportunities along with foreign companies through sharing and establishing joint investment projects with all of it leading to the growth and support of the national economy.

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