Egypt greenlights international gold exploration bid

Doaa A.Moneim , Monday 16 Mar 2020

The bidding will be opened every four months, starting two months after the closing date

Egypt's Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources started on Sunday receiving applications from foreign and domestic investors willing to participate in the first bidding round for gold ore exploration and associated minerals for 2020.

The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) will receive investors' submissions from 15 March until 15 July, taking into account that the bidding will be opened every four months starting two months from the closing date.

An informed source at the petroleum ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Ahram Online that the bidding will be carried out according to the taxes, royalty and free carry interest model.

Carried interest is a share of bidders’ profits from the gold mine which will be paid to EMRA as compensation, and it will be competitive, as the more the bidder pays in fees the bigger their chances of getting a concession, according to the source.

The source also revealed that the tax will range between 5 to 6.5 percent of the total production of the concession, adding that the offered concessions in the Eastern Desert will include the five concessions that were offered in the bidding round of 2017. The petroleum ministry had cancelled that bidding in the wake of appointing US company Wood Mackenzi to set new terms and conditions for making use of all of Egypt's mineral resource wealth, including gold ore.

For the royalty, the source said that it will be a maximum of 20 percent.

Petroleum ministry spokesman Hamdi Abdelaziz told Ahram Online that the bidding round will be held without any changes in schedule over COVID-19’s rapid spread.

He added that a number of international companies have expressed interest in participating in the bidding.

Egypt, which links northeast Africa with the Middle East, has targeted $700 million in new investments in the mining and energy sectors by 2030.
The bidding round will offer 320 blocks over all gold concessions in Egypt's Eastern Desert.



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