The House of Representative in Egypt has passed 10 draft laws regarding gold and mineral exploration and traffic. Seven draft laws have been passed on licensing the Minister of Petroleum to explore for gold and minerals in the Eastern Desert. The minimum age for riding a motorbike has decreased from 18 to 16 years old per an amendment approved by the House of Representatives.
Importing trucks are tax free in article 51 bis, but it has been amended to add the condition of reciprocity. All vehicles may bear a form of advertisement, where one or more advertising companies shall take over the process of coordination between corporations and the owners of the vehicles. Unauthorized advertisements will result in the revocation of the vehicle license rather than the driver’s license, according to the approved amendment.
The draft laws all allow the minister of petroleum to contract out excavation to the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority and Shalateen Mineral Resources Company. The laws specify the locations in the Eastern Desert as Alaqy Valley, Om Jrayat, Fatiry, Hamata, Hanjaliya, Om Oud, Otoud, Baramiya, Eiqat Mount, Jarf Mount, Maseeh Mount, Elba Mount, and Aswan area.
Sukari gold mine is the Eastern Desert’s most famous mine, and it is excavated by Australian company Centamin. In 2020, Sukari produced 452,320 ounces of gold. Excess of 4Moz of gold, generating $1 billion free cash flow, according to Centamin’s website.
In July 2021, Egypt signed four contracts with Centamin and Canada’s B2Gold to explore for gold in the Eastern Desert. It also signed four other contracts with Canada-based Barrick Gold Corporation, the world’s second largest gold excavator. Other companies, including Egyptian companies, also won concession in a 2020 tender. The Eastern Desert is known to be a vast untapped resource of gold and other minerals such as copper.