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Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Egypt discovers gold deposit in the Eastern Desert

A gold deposit estimated to hold over 1 mn ounces was discovered in the Eastern Desert’s Iqat region, the Oil Ministry said in a statement. The deposit, which also contains other minerals, is located in state-owned Shalateen Mining Company’s concession area. The area could see investments of more than USD 10 bn over the next 10 years to develop the deposit.

Shalateen will set up a JV with the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority to mine the area, the statement notes. This will make the JV the third gold mine operator in Egypt alongside the government’s partnership with Centamin to operate the Sukkari gold mine and the Hamash Company, a JV between the state and Cyprus’ Matz Holding. Reuters also noted the find.

This comes amid an ongoing international exploration tender: EMRA kicked off the country’s first international bid round for gold and mineral exploration in March and will accept bids until 15 September for a 56k sqkm exploration area in the Eastern Desert, close to where the discovery announced yesterday was made.

The bid round is the first time the industry tests the investor-friendly amendments to the Mineral Resources Act which scrapped production sharing agreements in favor of a more attractive tax, rent, and royalty model.

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