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Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Naguib is waiting on the Mineral Resources Act’s exec regs before deciding on gold investments in Egypt

Naguib is waiting on Mineral Resources Act exec regs before deciding on gold investments in Egypt: The executive regulations to the newly-ratified Mineral Resources Act will determine whether or not Naguib Sawiris will invest in Egypt’s gold and copper mining industry, he tells Al Arabiya TV (watch, runtime: 3:44). The details of the regulations have the potential to spur or discourage investments depending on how friendly they are to investors, particularly as companies have several other potential gold mining destinations around the world they could opt for if Egypt’s regulations prove to be discouraging, Sawiris says.

Sawiris is specifically keeping his eye on the royalty fees and customs and tax rates that will be laid out in the regulations. Under the new act, companies will have to pay a minimum royalty of 5% of annual production, with the cap set at 20%. The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) is also reportedly planning to abolish the bidding system for gold exploration licenses next year and allow investors to apply for a license covering a specific area or up to six years.

All praise for the new legislation: Sawiris lauded the new act’s decision to scrap the production sharing agreement system, which he says held back investors in the gold mining sector. He also said that the amendments are a “bold” step from the government to reform the industry, and could put Egypt’s mining industry in a position to be as big a source of income for the country as its oil and gas industry.

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