Egyptians are working against the clock to extract gold from the Iqat mine located in the Eastern Desert, the Ministry of Petroleum and Minerals announced in 2020.
In 2003, the Australian Jais Land Company conducted feasibility studies on the economic returns of the Iqat mine concession area, and the study concluded that the Iqat mine concession area has a large gold deposit.
In June 2020, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum announced a new gold discovery in the Iqat region in the eastern desert of Egypt, in the concession area of the "Shalatin" Mineral Resources Company, noting that the average concentration of gold is 1.5 grams per ton.
In November 2020, the Egyptian government established the Iqat Gold Mines Company to manage the mine, in partnership with the Mineral Resources Authority and Shalateen.
The deposit of Iqat Mine is estimated to hold around 1.3 mn ounces of gold, said the ministry, adding that it is estimated to increase the expected direct investments in 2030 from $300 million to $1 billion.
Shalateen Mining was established in 2012. After the discovery at Iqat, it became the third national company working in gold mining and exploration.
The company is 100% state-owned: the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) owns 35%, the military’s National Service Projects Organization holds 34%, the National Investment Bank owns 27% and the Egyptian Company For Mineral Resources holds 7%.
In January 2023, the Iqat gold mine produced its first gold bar, weighing 2 kilos of gold.
Contributed by Ahmed Emam