Egypt's Sukari mine (courtesy of Centamin)
Egypt signed five gold exploration deals on Thursday worth $13 million with leading local and Canadian gold companies following a global tender it held in 2020.
Egypt has launched several initiatives to lure investors to its attractive mining exploration opportunities.
The petroleum ministry said on Thursday three contracts worth a total of $9 million were signed with Canadian Lotus Gold for exploration in 11 blocs.
Another $3 million deal was signed with Egypt’s Mining and Manufacturing Company (MEDAF) for exploration in one bloc, and one with Ebdaa for Gold Mining for $1 million in another bloc.
Petroleum minister Tarek El-Molla said the signing of Thursday’s agreements was an effective translation of amendments to Egypt’s mineral resources law, which grants investors more facilities and privileges.
The amendments have positively reflected on investments in the sector and placed Egypt on the global investment map in gold exploration by luring several local and global mining companies, he said.
Egypt passed a legislation last year to ease exploration rules and to attract investors to its gold sector as it sought to attract gold mining firms for its first major tender since 2017 in the Eastern Desert.
Seven international and four local companies, out of the 17 that applied for licences, have been awarded in November tenders for gold exploration in Egypt’s Eastern Desert.
The tender included 290 blocs spread over 250,000 square kilometres. The 11 companies won the bid to explore 82 blocs, or 28 percent of the total, equivalent to kilometres.
A second round of bidding is scheduled for March 2021 for the exploration of deposits of 10 minerals in 208 blocs spread over 38,000 square kilometres in the Eastern Desert.