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Thursday, 8 November 2018

Egypt Cabinet approves amendments to Mineral Resources Act

CABINET WATCH- Madbouly Cabinet approves amendments to Mineral Resources Act: The Madbouly Cabinet approved on Wednesday long-awaited amendments to the Mineral Resources Act that aim to attract significant foreign interest in the nation’s mining sector, according to a statement from the Madbouly Cabinet. While the statement includes no details on the amendments, previous reports indicate that the reforms will see Egypt scrap its oil-and-gas-style production sharing agreement and move to a tax, rent and royalty model — and eliminate the requirement that miners enter into 50:50 JVs with the sector’s regulator. The bill is also expected to allow exploration companies to acquire exploration ground without first obtaining exploration licenses. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla had said last month that the amendments to the act would be presented to the House of Representatives in three months.

Stakeholders to be consulted on the amendments: Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly ordered a survey of local officials whose governorates are home to potential mining activity. Business associations such as the Federation of Egyptian Industries and the Federation of Egyptian Chambers of Commerce will also be included in the public consultations.

Industry approves: The amendments have received the overwhelming support of the industry, with top execs at Aton Resources, Thani Stratex Resources and Resolute Egypt signing an exclusive op-ed for Enterprise praising the reforms.

All buildings will soon be paying waste management fees: All municipalities are to enforce a monthly fee for all buildings and businesses that would go towards garbage collection and waste management. The cabinet also mandated that 25% of real estate taxes collected from a governorate would go towards waste management.

Other decisions around the cabinet table yesterday:

  • Approving a USD 64.6 mn grant from the US to fund water infrastructure development;
  • Approving a c. USD 330,000 grant from the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development;
  • Approving a dual taxation agreement with Kazakhstan.

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