Sudan and Saudi Arabia are plan to produce large quantities of gold, silver and copper from the Red Sea within three years, after three decades of planning.

Based on the results of research into the Atlantis II basin undertaken by a German firm in the seventies, Sudan and Saudi Arabia have earlier agreed to jointly explore the Red Sea.

Both countries are now planning to start production in 2014, with the use of special drill ships, reports Reuters.

Sudan will team up with Saudi firm Manafa International, which has formed a joint venture with Canadian firm Diamond Fields International to explore the basin.

According to previous estimations, the basin stretches 60km2, containing 47t of gold, 3,750t of silver, 1.89Mt of Zinc and around 425,000t of copper.