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Monday, 2 September 2019

EMRA to end bidding system for gold exploration licenses

Egyptian Mineral Resources General Authority to end bidding system for gold exploration licenses: The Egyptian Mineral Resources General Authority (EMRA) is reportedly planning to abolish the bidding system for gold exploration licenses next year and instead allow investors to apply for a license covering a specific area for up to six years, a source told the local press. The exploration and production phases will be separated under the new system, meaning that investors will need to have a development plan agreed with the ministry and approved by parliament should they make a commercial discovery. Investors will not need to sign an agreement with the government, and the Oil Ministry will issue licenses without the need for legislation.

Exploration licenses will be granted for an initial two-year period, renewable for another two two-year terms subject to evaluation. Investors are currently allowed to explore a concession for up to 30 years without making commercial discoveries. The ministry will grant investors tax breaks and customs exemptions if they make discoveries, and will revoke licenses if they fail to find anything during the license period.

Background: President Abdel Fattah El Sisi ratified the Mineral Resources Act two weeks ago, which introduces additional incentives for companies to invest in the mining sector. The amendments expand the size of concession areas, establish a new authority for issuing licenses of unlimited size, and allow investors to renew licenses for more than one term. You can read more details about the amendments here.

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