Egypt announced on Monday the results of the first round of bidding for its first international gold and associated minerals tender in Sinai and the Eastern Desert, awarding mining rights to four companies, including two foreign companies.
In statements reported by Al-Ahram Arabic news website, petroleum minister Tarek El-Molla said that Resolute Egypt won two concessions, while the British Veritas Mining Limited, Ghassan Spain Investment, and Egypt's East Gas Company each won a concession following a round of bidding in January.
El-Molla added that the ministry considers developing mineral resources a priority, with the aim of implementing new strategies to best utilise the country’s mineral resources and turn the sector into a major pillar of the Egyptian economy.
Centamin, the largest gold mine operator in Egypt, which began operations in 1995, said in January that it would not bid on the country's new gold exploration tender because the terms were not commercially practical.
Centamin's principal asset is the Sukari Mine, a project started in 2007 in the Red Sea city of Marsa Alam, with the first gold bar made in 2009.
In 2016, the mine produced 551,036 ounces of gold.