The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has opened an international bid that will enable Egypt to start gold exploration in the Eastern Desert, reported Egypt Independent.

This will be done via state-owned Shalateen Mineral Resource Company (SMRC), with the bidding open until from Monday 10 August.

The areas to be explored are Oqoud, Umm Oud, Hamata, Fatiri, and Baramiyah.

The Egyptian General Authority for Mineral Resources holds a 35% stake in the SMRC, with the National Service Projects Organization, of the Defense Ministry, having a 34% interest.

National Investment Bank owns 24% of the SMRC and the Egyptian Company For Mineral Resources (ECMR) 7%.

Egypt has made its first locally made gold ingot, sourced from the Eastern Desert’s Igat mine discovered in June last year, stated the Adviser to the Minister of Supply and Internal Trade for Gold Industry Affairs Nagy Farag.

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The country has 100 mines, with the Igat mine holding one million ounces of gold and the Sukari Gold Mine having 12 million ounces of gold, Faraq said in a telephone interview with the Sada al-Balad TV channel.

He stated that gold extraction must be done locally by Egyptian hands.

The country looks to inject around $1bn in the mining industry by 2030, stated Egypt Independent.