Egypt aims to increase gold production fivefold this decade as the most populous Arab country seeks international investors to boost mining for metals and minerals.
Output of gold will rise to 2.5 million ounces annually by 2020, from about 500,000 ounces now, according to government forecasts, Abdel Hassan Attia, deputy chairman of the Egyptian mineral resources authority, said today at a conference in Dubai.
Dubai-based Thani Ashanti Alliance Ltd. is expected to confirm soon a deposit it’s exploring is commercially viable, Hassan Attia said. Philip Newton, Thani Ashanti’s Middle East exploration manager, said the company is exploring in Egypt, while he declined to comment on whether it plans to declare any mine there to be exploitable on a commercial basis.
Thani Ashanti is a mining venture of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Africa’s largest producer of the metal, and closely held United Arab Emirates firm Thani Investments LLC.
Egypt plans to seek bidders for development of copper, phosphate and potassium deposits next year as the country seeks international investors to raise output and boost economic growth, Hassan Attia said.
The mining industry should raise its contribution to the national economy to 8 to 10 percent, Fekhry Youssef, chairman of the authority, said at the same conference yesterday. Mining now accounts for about 1 percent of Egypt’s economy, he said. The country is offering mining concessions free of tax or customs fees for foreign companies investing in joint ventures with local partners, he said.
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