The cabinet approved the amendments proposed by the ministerial working group, formed under the chairmanship of the minister of petroleum and mineral resources, to amend the Mineral Resources Law No. 198 of 2014 and will be sent to the House of Representatives for discussion and approval on Tuesday.
A source in the petroleum and mineral resources sector told Daily News Egypt that the amendments to the Mineral Resources Law were prepared by consensus of all concerned parties in the sector of investors and the government.
He pointed out that the working group consulted governors who have mineral resources in their governorates, in addition to the Federation of Egyptian Industries.
The sources pointed out that the amendments came in a number of articles to suit and conform to what the state seeks at currently in order to define clear methods and controls for the exploitation of mines and quarries, while avoiding any negative aspects of existing legislation and remaining in line with the current social, economic, and political conditions.
The source pointed out that the most important amendments to the Mineral Resources Law is the establishment of a new competent authority to issue licenses for mines and quarries, and that the new competent authority is to grant licenses for areas without restriction of a certain area after being limited to about 16,000 sqm.
In addition, it allows renewing licenses for similar periods after they were limited for only one term, and the revocation of the license if the work stops for six consecutive months after the text previously contained in the law provided for a stop for only three months.
The amendments to Article 3 states that “the licenses of mines and quarries issued prior to the operation of the annexed law shall continue to be valid and the provisions therein shall remain in force and the provisions of the annual rent, royalty, and licensing fees for research and exploitation contained in the accompanying law shall apply to such licenses upon renewal.”
The source pointed out that the amendments confirmed the competence of the Egyptian General Authority for Mineral Resources in the search for mines, as well as its right to technical supervision of the exploitation of mines and quarries.
The draft law on mineral wealth comes within the framework of the Egyptian state’s efforts to achieve development plans, pursue global developments in mining, restructure and develop the mineral wealth sector. The objectives of the law are to optimise the use of mineral resources.
In addition, there is the activation of scientific research in the fields of geological and mining exploration as well as mining, to provide the country’s needs of mining materials and quarries, and establish industrial projects on mining and quarries’ materials in order to achieve the optimal benefit of this wealth and maximise the added value, as well as develop projects and industrial zones based on mineral wealth.
This is in order to attract more international and domestic investments and increase the contribution of the mineral wealth sector in the national economy in addition to maximising the returns for the state.