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Thursday, 9 February 2017

EMRA chief’s response to critics of gold tender: we’ll see on 20 April

EMRA chief’s response to critics of gold tender: We’ll see on 20 April. Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) chief Omar Taima hit back at mounting criticism of EMRA’s terms for gold exploration concessions, saying companies that participate in the bid round will be exempt from customs, income taxes and corporate social responsibility obligations. Speaking at a gathering yesterday, he added that the concessions will be for 38 years, as opposed to 15 years (which he said is the standard globally), adding that the concessions on offer have proven gold deposits. He dismissed claims, including by Thani Stratex Resources CEO David Hall, that production sharing agreements can only work for oil investors, saying that the risks in mining are higher as the concession areas are smaller than those of oil. He told critics that the terms will be vindicated when offers come in on 20 April.

Taima called out Thani and Aton Resources by name, saying they accepted old terms that were less attractive than those in the new bid round, Youm7 reports. We had previously noted the objections raised by the CEOs of both companies. He made sure to let these companies know that the terms have the approval and support of the government.

Tamer Abu Bakr, head of the oil division at the Federation of Egyptian Industries appears to be backing Taima up, telling listeners at the workshop that there are plenty of interested investors in the gold exploration tender, the newspaper reports. He called on investors to show their support to EMRA and participate in the tender, the way international oil companies did with the petroleum sector. Sounds like a perfectly logical way to make a business decision.

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