The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) has completed its acquisition of government and security clearances to put forward an international tender for seven areas for search and exploration of gold before the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2015/2016.
EMRA Chairman Omar Teama told Daily News Egypt that the administrative procedures regarding the tender are currently under way at the EMRA.
He pointed out that EMRA had planned to put forward the tender, for gold search in seven areas in the eastern desert and South Sinai, for the first time last January; however, a delay in obtaining security permits postponed the tender.
Teama added that a joint alliance will be launched with any company that achieves a commercial discovery in the region won through the gold search tender, which will be put forward during 2016.
The chairman explained that no license will be granted to any company to explore for gold in the concession areas, except through auctions raised by EMRA, and in accordance with the upcoming mine-related law.
He noted that EMRA is planning to begin sharing the production of Sukari gold mine with Australia Company Centamin by the end of 2016. The settlement of expenses and revenues provided by the foreign partner is underway.
Teama added in a statement to Daily News Egypt that the settlement of expenses and revenues will be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the project’s contract. He said the foreign partner is not entitled to set the time of production sharing.
He asserted that these provisions stipulate that production sharing will start directly after the foreign partner recovers its investments and operating expenses.
General Manager of Pharaonic Gold Mines Company Yousef El-Rajhi, affiliated with Centamin, said in an earlier statement to Daily News Egypt that the sharing of Sukari’s profits with the Egyptian government is scheduled to start in 2017.
He added that the government will receive $3bn in royalties as well as sharing production profits for 20 years at $1,200 per ounce of gold.
The work and development rights of Sukari gold mine were granted through Act 222/1994 signed on 29 January 1995.
The concession contract stipulates that Pharaonic Gold Mines Company will solely finance the project and pay 3% of the profits in royalties to the Egyptian government, while it has the right to recover all the operating costs of production and expenses through the sale of the mine’s production.
After the payment of the royalty and cutting the recoverable costs, 50% of the profits will be allocated to EMRA and 50% will go to the Pharaonic Company.
The additional 10% of profits will be paid to the Pharaonic Company during the first two years, and 5% in the following two years.