The specialised committees at the parliament have initially approved the amendments of the New Mineral Wealth Act No 198 for 2014 which included eliminating the issuance of agreements to look for gold for companies in order to facilitate measures and encourage investors to look for gold in areas of their choice.
A source at the petroleum sector told Daily News Egypt that specialised committees approved in sessions held mid-last month to amend the law.
He added that it is planned to hold the next meeting mid-month, to explain the most important amendments to the parliament before the adoption of the law and issuing it before the end of the parliamentary session.
The source pointed out that the amendments made to the draft law on mineral wealth were prepared by the consensus of all stakeholders in the sector of investors and the government.
He pointed out that a number of governors in their governorates have been consulted about the amendments, in addition to the Federation of Industries and the Chamber of Building Materials industries.
The source stressed that the amendments were made to a number of acts in order to suit and match the state’s trend at the current level so as to specify clear controls to utilise mines, quarries, and navigators while avoiding any negative effects of the current legislations, in line with the current social, economic, and political conditions.
The source said that some of the most prominent amendments to the law include establishing a new specialised body that handles issuing licenses for mines and quarries without being limited to specific areas after the specific area was about 16 sqkm.
Also, the licences’ period was extended to several terms instead of one and can be eliminated if works were halted for six continuous months after the law stipulated previously that halting would be only for a period of three months.
The amendments to the third article include licenses being valid for mines, quarries, and navigators if they were issued before the law was in force. The controls in the law related to the value of annual rent, royalty, and licensing fees for research and exportation also remain in force.
The source pointed out that the amendments have stressed the specialty of the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) to conduct the research and exploration operations of mineral wealth as well as its right to handle the technical supervision of the operations of utilising mines, quarries, and navigators.
The law comes within the framework of the state’s attempt to achieve the development plans and keep up with global updates in the field of mining, as well as restructuring and developing the sector of mineral wealth, as the goals of the law are focused on optimal utilisation of mineral wealth.
It also seeks to activate scientific research in the fields of geological and mineral mining and exploration, as well as provide the needs of the country from mines and quarries, and establish industrial projects to achieve optimal utilisation of that wealth and maximise their added value in order to increase international and local investments and increase the contribution of the sector of mineral wealth in the national economy in order to maximise the state’s revenues.