Egypt extends deadline for gold mining bid round – MINING.COM – MINING.com

The Egyptian mineral resources authority (EMRA) said the extension seeks to attract new companies and give potential investors more time to come forward.

Egypt hosted its first Mining Day at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention last year, where it announced upcoming gold bid rounds.

Investors bid on blocks, such as the ones highlighted here. (Source: the Egyptian mineral resources authority’s (EMRA) site.)

The auctions have so far attracted mining heavyweights as well as juniors. Among the companies that have been awarded concessions over the past year are Centamin, owner of the only commercial gold mine in the country, as well as Barrick Gold, B2Gold, Lotus Gold, Red Sea Resources and AKH Gold.

The mineral resources authority inked in January five gold exploration contracts with companies that had been awarded blocks in the November bid round.

Egypt’s previous system of royalties and profit-sharing agreements made it difficult and unprofitable for miners to explore for and exploit minerals. 

New rules passed in January last year eliminated the need for miners to form joint ventures with the government and limited state royalties to a maximum of 20%.­

Unlike Egypt’s natural gas sector, the country’s mineral wealth remains largely under-explored and undeveloped. Its only commercial gold mine, Centamin’s Sukari, contributes up to $900 million a year to the nation’s gross domestic product.

Canada’s Aton Resources (TSX-V: AAN) launched last month an ambitious exploration drilling and development program focused on building Egypt’s second operating gold mine, after securing a license in early 2020.

Egypt, which links northeast Africa with the Middle East, has targeted $1 billion in new investments in the mining and energy sectors by 2030.