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Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Canada’s Barrick inks four gold exploration contracts

Canadian miner Barrick Gold has inked four gold exploration contracts with a combined USD 8.8 mn with the Oil Ministry, according to a ministry statement, which said this is the Toronto-listed miner’s first investment in Egypt. According to the terms of the agreement, Barrick will search for and mine gold in 19 new exploration blocks across the Eastern Desert. The contracts were signed under last year’s Oil Ministry tender, which awarded eleven mining companies the rights to 82 gold exploration blocks in the Eastern Desert. Reuters also had the story.

Who else is digging for gold? Earlier this month, the government signed four gold exploration contracts with Canadian miner B2Gold and Australian gold miner and Sukkari operator Centamin, with investments exceeding USD 17 mn. Last February, the government signed 10 gold exploration contracts worth a combined USD 11 mn with four mining companies: Naguib Sawiris-backed Akh Gold, Red Sea Resources, the North Africa Mining and Petroleum Company (NAMC), and Al Abadi Mining. In January, five other contracts worth a combined USD 13 mn were signed with three companies: Canada’s Lotus Gold, Mining and Manufacturing Company (MEDAF), and Egypt’s Ebdaa for Gold.

Still in the pipeline: UK’s firm SRK also received exploration awards from the tender, but seems to be the only one left that is yet to sign a contract.

Background: The contracts were signed under the first tender to be launched since amendments to the Mineral Resources Act offering investors more attractive terms. The blocks have been awarded on two-year exploration licenses that can be renewed either two or three times depending on the circumstances.

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