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Thursday, 18 February 2021

Signed, sealed, and delivered

Another four mining companies signed yesterday 10 new gold exploration contracts worth a combined USD 11 mn with the Oil Ministry, after being awarded concessions in the Eastern Desert in a tender issued last year, according to a ministry statement. Yesterday’s contracts bring the grand total to 15, after the ministry had previously signed five agreements worth USD 13 mn.

Who now has keys to their concessions? Naguib Sawiris-backed Akh Gold signed contracts to explore nine concessions worth USD 4.1 mn, Red Sea Resources was awarded five concessions worth USD 5.5 mn, the North Africa Mining and Petroleum Company (NAMC) landed two concessions worth USD 1 mn, and Al Abadi Mining received one concession worth USD 636k.

Who’s already inked a contract? Canadian miner Lotus Gold and local firms Mining and Manufacturing Company (MEDAF) and Ebdaa Gold Mining inked their agreements last month.

Who’s still left: Canada’s Barrick Gold and B2Gold, British firm SRK, and Australian gold miner and Sukkari operator Centamin also received exploration awards from the tender, but have yet to sign their contracts.

With the exploration sale now closed, Naguib was the latest to pile on praise for the amended Mineral Resources Act passed in 2019, saying the changes gave local and international firms a significant push to participate in the latest bid round, the statement notes. Launched last year, the tender was the first of its kind since the amendments became the law of the land. The new legislation — which met with praise from industry leaders — gives investors more favorable terms, including doing away with production sharing agreements and introducing a more attractive model. Bloomberg also took note of Naguib’s nice words.

LOOKING AHEAD- Bidders in the second round of the gold exploration tender now have an extra two months to submit their paperwork, after the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority extended the deadline to 15 May from 15 March previously. The extension is meant to allow investors more time to submit bids, Reuters reports. The tender was issued in November.

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