The Supreme Administrative Court overturned an Administrative Judicial Court ruling on Wednesday, which threatened to halt operations at the Sukari gold mine in Upper Egypt. The suspension will remain in place until the appeal is heard for which no date has yet been set.
The Administrative Judicial Court decision taken on 30 October 2012, ruled that the Concession Agreement between mining company Centamin and the Egyptian government was invalid, as it had not followed the proper procedures.
Centamin published a statement on its website on Wednesday which stated that the company was “pleased” with the ruling. The statement pointed out that Wednesday’s decision “supersedes the notice of ‘objection to enforcement’”, which has allowed the company to continue normal operations since 31 October 2012.
Former Member of Parliament and lawyer Hamdy Al-Fakharany originally filed the lawsuit. On Wednesday, he described the Supreme Administrative Court as a “Muslim Brotherhood court” and also said that he was considering appealing the decision.
In a question and answer session regarding the court case, Centamin said about Al-Fakharany: “He appears to have an independent political agenda.” Al-Fakharany claims that he filed the lawsuit to benefit the people living close to the mine. He also pointed out that the current agreement for the mine has meant that Egypt does not receive a fair share of the profits from the mine.
The Administrative Judicial Court decision in October 2012 caused Centamin stocks to plunge. Centamin began its operation in Egypt in 2005 and began extracting gold from the Sukari mine in 2009.