EGYPT – The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA), affiliated to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, has signed five contracts for gold search and exploration with Canadian and Egyptian companies.

The contracts, the first relating to gold prospecting in Egypt, are worth total investments of an estimated at US$13 million, and will cover 13 sectors. They are the result of the first global auction put forward by Egypt in 2020, with the results announced last November.

The contracts signed include three with the Canadian Lotus Gold company, an international company working in the field of gold exploration in 11 sectors with a total investment estimated at US$9 million.

A further contract was signed with the Egyptian Mining and Manufacturing Company (MEDAF) with investments worth US$3 million. Besides this, another contract was signed with the Egyptian company Ebdaa for Gold Mining, which will see total investments of approximately US$1 million.

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla said that the signing of Egypt’s first gold prospecting contracts reflects the importance of amendments to the mining legislation and regulations. These, in turn, reflected positively on the investment climate in this sector.

El Molla affirmed that his ministry is keen to provide full support for mining investments, by quickly overcoming challenges. This will also see an end to procedures, to ensure the best results and returns for both sides of these investments.

Moreover, the interest of Egyptian companies to invest in the field of gold exploration is an important addition that enriches mining activity and enhances the role of national capital in this vital area, the minister said.

He further noted that the rest of the contracts will be signed successively during the coming period with the rest of the companies winning the bid.

11 international and local companies won a global bid that was announed last year to explore for gold and associated minerals, copper and silver, in the eastern desert in Egypt.

Among the winning companies, Australian Centamin, Canadian companies Barrick Gold, B. Gold, Lotus Gold, Red.C Resources, Egyptian Medaf, Abadi Mining, North Africa Mining and Nubia Mining, and Ebdaa Four Gold.

The auction included 320 sectors with a total area of ​​56 thousand square kilometers.

The minister said during the press conference that the companies won exploration in 82 sectors, equivalent to 28 percent of the sectors that were offered for auction.

It is believed that the eastern desert of Egypt is rich in gold, but regulatory complications and obstacles prevented decades from opening it to private investment.

Al-Mulla added that a second round of global bidding will be opened to explore for gold and other minerals and ores such as phosphates and iron until four months ending on March 15, 2021.

Egypt had in 2019 enacted a new mining law in an effort to encourage mineral exploration and production.

The ministry said in a press release issued later today that the bidding had been submitted by 17 international and local companies, and that the investment commitment amounted to a minimum of US$60 million in the initial research stages.

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