Egypt’s courting Australia to upgrade mining industry

Egypt Sukaria gold mine
Sukaria gold mine in Egypt. © Taha Ahmed

Aussies most welcomed. Long-term projects are often initiated behind the scenes, and Egypt would like to go fast on upgrading mining industry. Two days ago, Egyptian petroleum minister Tarek El-Molla and Australian ambassador Neil Hawkins had a long talk about reinforcing cooperation between the two countries, in gas, oil and metal mining. President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi needs to attract foreign investments and does what needs to be done to accomplish this task. Last month his government has finally settled a $4 billion debt to foreign oil compagnies. Egypt wants to reassure its potential partners. And Australia seems to be #1 on the list.

‘The ministry plans to encourage investment in metal industries projects’

Prime target: to attract Australian companies to invest in Egypt in metal and gold exploration projects. Australia has a long history and a world-class experience in the field. ‘The ministry plans to encourage investment in metal industries projects to boost the metals’ added value in accordance with the optimum economic strategy for metal exploitation’, Minister El-Molla said.

Australian firms could be ideal partners for the Egyptian mining industry which needs to be upgraded. Australia has a mining and exploration history since the 1840s. Aussies know the drill, as mining is a primary industry and contributor to the domestic economy: it contributes for 5.6% of Australian gross domestic product, and mineral export materials around 35% of Australia’s exports.

In 2017, Australia was still the major player for raw materials exports: it’s the world’s biggest exporter of coal, iron, lead, diamonds, zinc, zirconium, second exporter of gold and uranium, and third for aluminium.

Egypt also has a long history in the mining industry and specially the gold mining. Central Eastern Desert (CED) has a 6.7 million ounces of gold reserves. Egypt is also the fourth world’s largest producer of tantalite (48 million tons of resources). It also has some 50 million tons of coal in the ground. And Egyptian leaders know that some untouched desert zones could to be very promising as recent spectral studies revealed mineralized alterations in CED.