Canada’s Aton Resources (TSX-V: AAN) became the first company in more than a decade to secure a gold mining licence in Egypt, which last year issued new regulations to ease foreign investment in the sector.
The new rules eliminated the need
for miners to form joint ventures with the Egyptian government and limits state
royalties to a maximum 20%, measures long advocated by the private sector.
Aton’s permit is the second mining licence issue in Egypt since 2005, when Centamin (LON:CEY) (TSX:CEE) — the country’s main gold producer — was granted its licence for its Sukari mine.
Aton’s president and chief
executive, Mark Campbell, said the licence is for 20 years, with the
possibility of extending it for another 10 years. It allows the company to
start the Hamama development as well as continuing exploration at Rodruin and other
exploration targets within the Abu Marawat concession.
“It also underscores Egypt’s new
commitment to developing its exploration and mining sector,” Campbell said. “Egypt
is a country that has vast untapped mineral potential, not only in gold, but
across all precious, base and industrial minerals.”
The country, which links northeast Africa with the Middle East, has targeted $700 million in new investments in the mining and energy sectors by 2030.
(With files from Reuters)