CAIRO: Egypt has signed ten gold exploration contracts with four companies, worth a combined value of $11.2 million.
The signing included four contracts with AKH Gold, a company affiliated with Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris, with a total investment of about $4.1 million. The agreement focuses on potential gold extraction in nine sectors in the Eastern Desert, according to a statement from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
After the signing, Sawiris said that the new mining law and its executive regulations gave incentives for international and Egyptian mining companies.
Sawiris emphasized that Egypt possesses large mineral resources that will be important to support the national economy, and praised the efforts of the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in developing the mining sector.
The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla said that the awarding of the contract to AKH was a positive sign as the company has extensive experience in mining activities around the world.
The minister said the success of the first auction in November was a strong indication of the continued development of the country’s mining sector.
The minister also signed three contracts with the Canadian company Red Sea Resources, to mine for gold in five areas, with a total investment of about $5.5 million.
The Mineral Resources Authority has also signed two contracts worth $1 million with the North Africa Mining and Petroleum Co., and a fourth contract worth $636,000 with the Obaid Al Abdi Contracting Co.
The authority had previously signed five contracts for gold research and exploration as part of the winning bids, with total investments estimated at $13 million. The contracts were with the Canadian Lotus Gold Co., the Egyptian company Mining and Manufacturing Co. (MEDAF), and the Egyptian Ebdaa for Gold Mining Co.