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mercoledì 4 novembre 2015
Gold rush in southern Algeria
In the Algerian Sahara, illegal gold miners from Mali, Niger and Ghana flock in large numbers in search of the precious metal whose price has reached new heights. They risk.
Tamanrasset, in the desert, the capital of the Hoggar, 2,000 kilometers south of Algiers. And 'the most cosmopolitan city in the country, bringing together nearly forty nationalities, mostly Africans, who make up 20% of the population. In one of the police stations of the city, Nigerians, Algerians and Malians are handcuffed and a national camera shot back. At their feet, gold detectors, but no trace of the precious metal.
In recent months, the groups are regularly arrested, illegal armed pullers heavy equipment. Not gold panning in rivers because we are in a desert, but difficult to extract, and for some time, are revealing more and seized tens of grams of the precious metal, but of a sector, 4x4, jackhammers and generators. In the Hoggar Tassili or neighbor Ajjers, two former bases geological host precious materials, the stroke, the price of gold has skyrocketed in these times of international financial crisis. The task is simple air complex perspective in desert areas as large as France and Spain combined, driven by the fabulous discoveries of legends and rumors that feed the conversations in Tamanrasset. We speak pounds, veins and treasures, where officials announce a maximum content of 18 grams per tonne. Who is right?
Tamanrasset, Mali is a few kilometers, the country's third largest producer of gold in Africa after South Africa and Ghana, 70% of its exports. In Mali, the harvest artisanal gold is a very old profession and still tells the story of King Kankou Moussa starting to Mecca, had won 8 tons of gold from the traditional gold panning it was distributed on its way, bringing down the course of the process . If Mali currently has seven operating mines and plans to open 6 more aware of next year with the Canadian, Australian, South African and Chinese, Mauritania work in gold with the Canadian Kinross Inchiri region Akjoujt.
In Niger, finally clandestine Djado site north of the country, near the border with Algeria, attracts around 10,000 people from all over the world in search of fortune. And 'from this geological context as Algeria, obsessed with oil and lags behind its neighbors in relation to the exploitation of precious materials has become the new land of Eldorado. So Malians, Ghanaians and Nigerians, more experienced, team up to Algerians to extract gold, although the law and the Algerian security services are much less tolerant than their neighbors. The technique is rudimentary, breaking rock outcrops and grind tons of sandstone and granite for a few grams of happiness. At $ 1,000 an ounce (about 28 grams), this is the wheel of fortune.
The jewelry Algiers
The center, the Algiers Stock Exchange. Soft, inert and without particular interest, is an institution wave unplugged the international financial system. The building is empty, but outside, activity is inversely proportional. "Broken, broken," requires a young man sitting on the wall Stock Exchange saw an elegant lady adorned with jewels to move on. This is not to break something or someone, but to recover from broken gold, that is to say, used jewelry, pieces of gold and precious remains to sell them by weight.
As in the rest of the world, the price of gold has increased considerably, representing here for every ounce equivalent of the salary of a senior executive (4000 dinars per gram, or about 35 Euros). This is also in Algiers that Sonatrach oil operator, has invested to recover the shares of ENOR (gold national company) in 2006 and xploiter with Australian Gold Mining (GMA) deposit the Algerian south, along the border with Mali. The operation has proved a failure, the two mines Tirek and Amesmessa, announced by officials who promise to 4 tons of gold a year now produce no more a single gram, parasitized by obscure events embezzlement, which continues to denounce ' former director of the gold in Tamanrasset, Adila Kaoues, now retired. The intervention of Qatar and former energy minister Chakib Khelil (brought to justice), "The Flying of Australian parties without losing a dollar, but with abysmal caused nearly $ 1 billion. Loss in Algeria" Adila has Kaoues He warned all his time to this scam, including the energy minister of the time, Chakib Khelil, who told him: "You have a monthly salary of 160,000 dinars [€ 1,000], what more do you want? What are you meddling?"
This is the paradox, while a gold mine official file for bankruptcy, informal enable everywhere. At the edge of the Sahara, Algeria, helped by their southern neighbors who are more familiar with this precious metal, are working to dig gold, raising fears of the security services Tamanrasset the emergence of a new image of the Mafia to weapons and drugs, in unrefined gold is traded contraband to 20,000 euro per kilo. At the regulatory level, only the Chinese have come out, exploring a deposit of 100 kilometers north of Tamanrasset on the fault Sil Edrar, although no one has real information about this operation.
In theory, Algeria could produce 4 tons of gold every year, the same as 4 tons of Mali mines minister, Boubou Cissé, it promises to be extracted annually rivers of gold mines in Mali and entirely escape taxation in the country. The Algerian mining law is strict, no doubt, a specialist outside, retrieve and recover only gold. We need a concession granted by the Ministry, a license for exploration and exploitation, with evidence of a sound financial basis. Meanwhile, the price of gold climbs and climbs background bankrupt global financial and planetary war likely to seize the gold reserves. Algeria has 174 tons of gold bullion in its central bank, or 4.4% of the reserves of the planet, in 25th place in the world and the first in the African, ahead of South Africa and Libya. For the rest, you have to dig.
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