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Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Four miners land licenses to prospect for gold

Four miners have landed licenses to explore for gold in the Eastern Desert in the Madbouly government’s latest tender, Dostor reported yesterday. They reportedly include Ankh Resources, Sawiris-backed Akh Gold, Canadian miner Lotus Gold, and Marine Logistic.

Lotus and Akh are familiar faces: Naguib Sawiris-backed Akh Gold signed contracts for nine exploration concessions worth USD 4.1 mn in last year’s tender of exploration rights, while Canada’s Lotus snagged a USD 9 mn agreement for 11 blocks.

…but Ankh Resources is a newcomer: Established last year in the UK, Ankh Resources won its first gold exploration license for one block — known as Dara — in the northeastern desert, Ankh Resources Managing Director Mostafa Talaat told Enterprise. The miner has committed a seven-figure USD investment to the block, the company’s chairman, Hossam Allam, added. Ankh is ready to exploration as soon as the block is handed to them — likely in three or four months’ time, Talaat said.

Ankh looks to be gearing up to invest more aggressively: “We’ll definitely be pushing more investments in the Egyptian market,” Talaat said, adding that they hope to expand beyond Egypt at some point. The miner is primarily eyeing the Red Sea-adjacent Arabian-Nubian Shield, which is one of the “last major under-explored frontiers for the global mining industry,” Allam said.

This is the government’s second gold tender in as many years: Four mining companies signed 10 new gold exploration contracts with the Oil Ministry in February. Later in July, the government signed four gold exploration contracts with Canadian miner B2Gold and Australian gold miner and Sukkari operator Centamin. Back in 2020, the Oil Ministry said it would launch new gold exploration tenders every four months.

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