Large gold discoveries in Egypt’s eastern desert
The discovery of large quantities of gold in Egypt’s eastern desert was recently announced by Industry Minister Mustafa Rifai, who valued the total deposits at $4.3 billion. The Australian-based Centamin Egypt mining company will begin extracting the gold within the next six to seven months from mines in Sukari, Baramya and Abu Merdat, reported Al-Ahram.
Seven years ago, the government granted Centamin a concession to explore for gold in the desert. The company’s team spent $17 million digging the Sukari Hill. After recently finishing their studies, the team concluded that at least 1.66 million ounces of recoverable gold lay in the excavated portion of the hill.
"We believe that ultimately the (site) will contain upwards of 15 million ounces," Executive Director for Corporate Development Mark Campbell told AFP. The total output from Sukari and other sites in Centamin’s exploration concession are expected to yield 1.8 million ounces annually, according to Campbell, which would make Egypt the world's fourth-largest gold producer.
Centamin is the only stock exchange listed mineral resources company exploring for gold and base metals in Egypt with a mining concession issued under an Act of the Egyptian Parliament. Centamin's concession includes nine mines, covering approximately 4,500 square kilometers of highly prospective ground, which the company intends to develop at a cost of $691 million.
According to Al-Ahram , Centamin's concession provides for the establishment of a holding company, part owned by Centamin egypt's subsidiary, Pharaoh gold Mines, while the rest would be owned by the Egyptian government. The profit share agreement, asserts that after the recovery of exploration, capital, and operating costs, the government will receive 40-50 percent of all profits, as well as a net smelter royalty of three percent.
Egypt was one of the ancient world's main producers of gold. Production seized in the 1950’s, when former president Gamal Abdel Nasser’s nationalization program drove foreign mining firms out of the country. — (menareport.com)
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