Egypt awards Aton three-year extension to explore Abu Marawat gold concession
The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) and Oil Ministry have agreed to grant Aton a three-year extension for its exploration of the Abu Marawat gold concession, the company said in a statement (pdf). The extension will give Aton enough breathing room to “migrate” to the new system that will be put in place under the final regulations and amendments to the Mineral Resources Act once they are complete, the statement says. Under the new system, Aton will no longer be required to set up a 50:50 JV with EMRA, which was a requirement under the law prior to its amendment.
Background: Aton had received preliminary approval for the country’s first new gold exploration license in 15 years back in February to explore the Hamama area in the Eastern Desert for a 20-year period along with retaining rights to explore the Abu Marawat concession area in the Arabian-Nubian Shield, north of Sukari mine, where existing player Centamin is operating. The approval was pending the government’s completion of several procedures, including a review of an economic feasibility study.