Chad's gold deposits extend over 1,200 km from the south to the west of the country while artisanal mining operations are located around 40 sites dominated by informality and alluvial operations. In 2020, the mining sector in Chad had 63,772 individuals, divided between 59,532 men (93.35%), 2,776 women (4.35%) and 1,464 children (2.3%) (UNEP 2020). The Tibesti region has attracted many miners since the 2013 gold rush, however mining remains limited despite known potential. The identified greenstone belts are located in the southwest of the country and include the Mayo Kebbi belts (containing the Lere, Mourbame and Pala regions). Gold has also been found in the Ouaddai region (including the areas of Am Ouchar, Ade, Ardelik and Goz Beida) as stated above. These regions have been correlated with the auriferous Birimian rocks of West Africa. However, large-scale artisanal gold mining began with the discovery of gold in the Tibesti region in 2013 and the discovery of the Fitri deposits in 2015. Gold panning is practiced mainly in the provinces of Batha , Borkou, Ennedi West, Guéra, Dar Sila, Mayo Kebbi West, Ouaddai, Tandjilé and Tibesti. These discoveries were made using gold detector devices due to the availability of this technology since the 90s. Natron, commonly known as Sal Soda, is currently the only other mineral widely mined by ASM in Chad, mainly used for washing, medicine and soap making. Natron mining activities are concentrated around Lake Chad. Small-scale tungsten mining in the Tibesti Mountains is also recorded.
The results of the national synopsis showed that ASM sector in Chad produces 8254 kg (8.25 t) of gold (UNEP 2020). However smuggled gold worth $US 90 million leaves Chad every week to Libya, said the president of the Chadian Transitional Military Council (PCMT), on the public television channel in an interview broadcast on June 9, 2022 according to the American agency Bloomberg.
ASGM DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT
The global market needs reassurance of sustainability, soundness, transparency, traceability and accountability in sourcing minerals from both compliant and conflict zones. Gold mining today aims for artisanal miners or front-line mining companies as well as gold refiners to comply with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from conflict or high-risk areas, as it incorporates formalization, multi-level supply chain strategy. (MT-SC), compliance with international regulations, fair labor practices, transparency and product safety (monitoring, certification, traceability, etc.), and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Trade and Human Rights, as stipulated at the last World Economic Forum in Davos in May 2022. Given that more than 90% of Chad's gold, which is estimated to be worth around $456 million, is exported informally and illegally every year, it is obvious that a better plan for investing in this gold can in the short term benefit to State, artisanal miners and investors.
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CHAD MINING DEVELOPMENT CONTEXT
With an area of 1,284,000 km2, Chad is the fifth largest geographical country in Africa after Sudan, Algeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Libya. Its population is 16, 244,513 in 2020 (RGPH2, 2009). The Chadian subsoil would contain many mineral indices which one would expect that the new major mining projects planned by the Government, both in the exploitation of gold and evaporites, will make it possible to considerably improve the prospects for GDP growth over the next 10 years. The Tibesti Precambrian basement, very little explored, has significant potential for metallic mineralization, mainly peri-plutonic mineralization with Sn-W (Nb, F, Be), in the plutonic domains of the Neo-Proterozoic, and mineralization with base metals and/or gold in volcanic and sedimentary belts attributed to the Paleo-Proterozoic (Birimian). Apart from construction materials (gravel, clay, sand, laterite, backfill and limestone), the mining resources currently exploited on an artisanal basis are natron, rock salt and gold. Recent discoveries of several polymetallic showings, and primary gold deposits could change this situation. These discoveries prove Chad's significant gold potential.