Egypt's al-Sukkari gold mine (Photo: Ahram)
Egypt plans to launch an exploration round for gold in its Eastern Desert in the first half of March, an official at the mineral resources authority said on Sunday.
Investors will be bidding on blocks which will be awarded to them within four months of the bid round being launched, the official said.
The country’s Eastern desert is believed to be highly mineral-rich as it forms part of an area known as the Arabian-Nubian shield, a geological feature that stretches from Saudi Arabia and Yemen in the east to Sudan and Egypt in the west.
Egypt in January issued new regulations that appeared to eliminate the need for mining companies to form joint ventures with the government and to limit state royalties to a maximum 20%.