EGYPT: THE LAST GOLD ADVENTURE
For millennia, ancient Pharaohs built powerful kingdoms made possible by the unparalleled riches of the Egyptian gold deposits. Active gold mining has been recorded right through to the early 20th Cenutry when British-controlled mines were producing gold. However, despite the obvious prosperity that lies underfoot, modern Egypt has seen little in the way of gold mining over the last 100 years, with only one producing gold mine currently.
With over 1,000 identified ancient gold mining sites in the Eastern Desert (where Abu Marawat is located), a low-cost skilled workforce and operating environment, and a government that is focused on building its mining industry, Egypt is ready to become the next major gold producer. Aton Resources is positioned well to apply modern mining technology to this underdeveloped area and achieve its goal of discovering the next great gold discovery.
A CORNERSTONE OF THE EGYPTIAN MINING INDUSTRY
Aton Resources is well known throughout Egypt and is one of the most experienced mining companies in the country. Since being awarded its Abu Marawat Concession in 2007, with operations beginning in 2009, Aton has built strong working relationships with its partner the Egyptian Mineral Resource Authority (EMRA) and is actively involved in the Egyptian business community.
MODERN MINING REFORM
Until now, mining has acted under the same rules and regulations in which the petroleum and gas industry operates. While these policies have worked well for the latter, different capital costs and business structures in mining require a unique set of regulations and policy.
With a strong country network, Aton has welcomed the opportunity to participate in the mining reform that is currently taking place in Egypt. In 2018, the Egyptian government hired independent consultants, Wood Mackenzie, to audit the current legislation and make recommendations for policies that would encourage global investment in the mining industry.
In August 2019 the Mineral Resources Law was amended, and in January 2020 the long awaited Executive Regulations to the Law were published. Very significantly the new Executive Regulations confirmed the abandonment of the Profit Sharing Agreement model which has hamstrung the Egyptian mining and mineral exploration sector for decades and confirmed that Egypt, as part of the ongoing reform process, will move to a tax, rent and royalty model for the minerals sector. A new gold Bid Round was launched in March 2020, further confirming Egypt’s intention to open up the minerals sector to foreign investment.