The Ministry of Military Production signed a cooperation protocol this week with the Egyptian Black Sand Company to manufacture the local component of the drilling equipment used in the Black Sands Project.
Major general Ashraf Soltan, chairperson of the company, said the protocol included the agreement on the manufacture of equipment and drilling machines according to the designs prepared by the Australian Mineral company, which won the contract to supply equipment. The Ministry of Military Production will supply spare parts for the digging equipment from the local market.
He explained that the University of Kafr Al-Sheikh is carrying out the designs of the factory’s gates and fences to separate the black sand. The university has been taking measures from the 80-feddan site.
He added that the Military Technical College has been tasked to undertake the consultancy work for the black sand separation project. The college will supervise the implementation of the 850-metre long road, next to the paving and reclamation works. They will also participate in the selection of the civil works and infrastructure companies for the project site.
He pointed out that the preparations in the site reached 50%, expecting them to be completed within the three coming weeks, in conjunction with finalising the designs of the gates and fences for the separation plant.
Shareholders of the EBSC include NASPO (61%), NMA (15%), NIB (12%), Kafr Al-Sheikh governorate (10%), and EMRA (2%).
The idea of the project is based on pulling up sand to be processed to extract six minerals: ilmenite, magnetite, rutile, zircon, garnet, and monazite. These minerals are considered the bases for 100 types of basic-, medium-, and high-technology industries, including ceramics, paints, high-quality water purification and treatment devices, advanced military industries, and transportation.
The black sand contains several minerals, the most important of which is titanium, which accounts for 80% of the minerals and 44% of revenues from sale, next to rutile and ilmenite, used in many industries.