Aton moves one step closer to obtaining exploitation license on Hamama West concession
Canada’s Aton Resources has moved one step closer to obtaining an exploitation license on its Hamama West gold concession, the company announced in a press release. The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed firm submitted a study by Wardell Armstrong International on the concession to the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority, a crucial step in its application to obtain the 20-year license. Aton had said in late November last year that it planned to submit the declaration of commerciality, only the second in the modern history of the Egyptian gold mining industry after Centamin.
Just don’t expect a new gold rush until there is regulatory reform: Gold miners continue to push the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority to change to a tax and royalty system from the current production-sharing regime. As we understand it, Wood Mackenzie is advising the government on reform of the sector, with fresh investment in the industry pending the overhaul. Aton Resources CEO Mark Campbell, writing exclusively for Enterprise last year, noted that, “Egypt could be one of the top mining jurisdictions in the world, but it badly needs to reform its mining policies to attract more companies to invest in developing its mineral resources.” You can read Campbell’s full opinion piece here.