Global bid for gold exploration in the Eastern Desert
An official at the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority said today, Sunday, that Egypt plans to launch a global bid for gold exploration in the Eastern Desert during the first half of next March.
“The eastern desert will be presented to investors with the system (blocks), provided that the closing of each stage is four months after its launch,” the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters. He continued, “The bidding will be offered through the royalty and tax system and a share for the government.”
It is believed that the eastern desert of Egypt is rich in gold, but the complexities and regulatory obstacles prevented decades of opening them to private investment.
Gold production in Egypt is currently concentrated in the Diabetes Mine in the Eastern Desert, which is run by the London-listed Centamin Company.
This comes at a time when Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris said today that he is negotiating to acquire 51% of the Shalatin Mineral Resources Company, as part of his efforts to enter the field of gold mining in Egypt.
The Egyptian General Mineral Resources Authority owns 35% of the company, the National Service Projects Authority of the Ministry of Defense holds 34%, the National Investment Bank 24% and the Egyptian Wealth Company 7%.