Egypt awards first exploration contracts following bid round

The contracts, worth a total of $13mln, were signed with Canada's Lotus Gold, Egypt's MEDAF and Ebdaa for Gold Mining

  
Image used for illustrative purpose. The Capital Drilling’s Rig 217 extracts core samples from the mineral rich Arabian Nubian Shield in the Eastern Desert near the southern province of Luxor, Egypt May 20, 2016.

Image used for illustrative purpose. The Capital Drilling’s Rig 217 extracts core samples from the mineral rich Arabian Nubian Shield in the Eastern Desert near the southern province of Luxor, Egypt May 20, 2016.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO  - Egypt on Thursday signed the first five gold exploration contracts with companies that had been awarded blocks in an international bid round in November, the petroleum and mining ministry said in a statement.

The contracts, worth a total of $13 million, were signed with Canada's Lotus Gold, Egypt's MEDAF and Ebdaa for Gold Mining. Contracts with the remaining companies awarded blocks would be signed soon, the statement said.

Egypt, which has only one commercial gold mine, is targeting $1 billion in investment in the mining sector. The November round was the first after the country's mining law was amended.

(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Nafisa Eltahir; Editing by Edmund Blair) ((Nafisa.Eltahir@thomsonreuters.com; +971 56 226 1754;))

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