Gold and Silver

Barrick Gold signs four exploration deals in Egypt

Barrick Gold signs four exploration deals in Egypt
Mining News Pro - Barrick Gold has inked four gold exploration deals in Egypt’s Eastern Desert, the country’s ministry of petroleum and mineral resources said on Tuesday.

The miner, which won an international tender Egypt launched last year, will explore in 19 new blocks in the Eastern Desert with an estimated total investment of $8.8 million.

It will be the Canadian gold giant’s first venture in Egypt, which currently has just one commercial gold mine in operation — Centamin’s Sukari.

Despite bountiful reserves of the precious metal and a rich mining history that supported the making of elaborate Pharaonic jewellery, Egypt’s mineral wealth remains largely under-explored and undeveloped.

The lack of activity was due, in part, to the country’s past system of royalties and profit-sharing agreements. They made it difficult and unprofitable for miners to explore for and exploit minerals.

A legislative overhaul in 2020 eliminated the need for miners to form joint ventures with the Egyptian government. It also limited state royalties to a maximum of 20%.­

The country also announced that year a series of upcoming gold bid rounds, which have so far attracted mining heavyweights as well as juniors.

Luring majors
Oher than Barrick, companies that have won concessions over the past year include Centamin, B2Gold, Altus Strategies’ subsidiary AKH Gold, Lotus Gold and Red Sea Resources.

Canada’s Aton Resources (TSX-V: AAN) is one step ahead. After securing a license in early 2020, the company launched in January an ambitious exploration drilling and development program focused on building Egypt’s second operating gold mine.

Aton’s 600-sq.-km Abu Marawat concession, located 200km north of Centamin’s Sukari gold mine, has an inferred resource of 2.9 million tonnes grading 1.75 grams gold per tonne, 29.3 grams silver per tonne, 0.77% copper and 1.15% zinc.

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

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