The Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla, said that the advisory office, Wood Mackenzie, in charge of preparing a strategy for the development of the Egyptian mining sector, has completed the strategy.
During the press conference to announce that Egypt will host the 15th Middle East Mining conference under the auspices of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, El-Molla added that the implementation of the new strategy will begin with the establishing the amendments to the Mineral Wealth Law. He noted that the recommendations included an organisational reform of the sector, which will be put in place successively.
He said the amendments to the Mineral Wealth Law had been referred to the House of Representatives for discussions. “After the passage of the bill, the executive regulations of the law will be issued,” he said.
President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi had issued the Mineral Wealth Law in December 2014, but the law faced many objections by investors in the exploration of metals and ores.
El-Molla pointed out that the new amendments aim to separate the exploitation from the utilisation stage, which aims to attract more investments, as the research agreements need a long time for the procedures, as well as a cap on royalties, which renders investors safe from market fluctuations.
The amendments will also contribute to increasing the revenues of the different governorates from the profits of the collection of resources, in addition to merging the quarries licenses in one entity. El-Molla said the mining sector had not put any investments to the state since 2014, where no contracts in the quarries sector were signed since. The Egyptian mineral resources authority (EMRA) has only received mining requests, thus the government resorted to amending the 2014 law, according to El-Molla.
The minister said that his ministry will be adding incentives to investors in the Law of Mineral Wealth, in order to attract investment and bring funds to the state. He explained that there are specialised committees to deal with the problems of gold in Egypt, especially the problem of illegal gold diggers and smuggling Egyptian gold abroad.
On the 15th Arab International Mineral Resources Conference, El-Molla said that the conference will be accompanied by an exhibition of companies and countries to present all the services associated with the mining operations, and that all ministers concerned with all the Arab countries were invited.
He explained that the ministry is seeking to traverse the mining journey as did the oil sector, to cope with the breakthrough in the sector, which would maximise the Egyptian income and support the economy.
El-Molla said that Misr Petroleum Company and Cooperation Petroleum will launch the new improved gasoline 95 in December, similar to the companies that launched the product in February.