Going for Gold (and Critical Minerals) at the Egyptian Mining Forum

Cairo hosted a vibrant second Egyptian Mining Forum in July on the banks of the Nile, led by a keynote presentation by Petroleum and Mining minister, Tarek El Molla. Hugh Fraser and Hader Helal were delegates at the event, which was highly topical given the net zero “critical minerals” market is seeing unprecedented growth as clean energy demand for minerals such as #lithium, #cobalt, #nickel and #copper. These are essential to help power EVs, wind turbines, solar panels and other technologies. The Egyptian government is looking to drive the minerals sector up to 5% of GDP, a ten-fold increase, given the huge untapped opportunity in the country.

It was a pleasure to meet Tonno Vahk, CEO, and Cherif Barakat, Egypt Country Manager, of Toronto-listed Aton Resources and to get their views on the new mining law “royalty plus taxes” regime which is moving away from the cost recovery/joint venture mechanism modelled on the petroleum sector. Aton Resources is a gold exploration and development company located in Egypt’s Arabian-Nubian Shield, focused on its 100% owned Abu Marawat Concession. ls the longest standing public exploration company in Egypt, Aton is actively involved in transforming resource-rich Egypt into a world-renowned gold producer once again.

We also connected with Antony Benham, regional director of MSA Group, an independent technical consultancy providing high quality geology, exploration, mineral resource, mining and environmental solutions to the international mining Industry, including turn-key exploration project management, mineral resource and reserve estimation, public reporting, valuations, scoping/PEA studies and feasibility studies, mine optimisation and mine closure and with a client base that includes major mining companies, private equity funds, sovereign wealth, state owned enterprises, traders, junior explorers and miners.

Tresor Gold’s co-founder Christopher Barriteau participated on a panel session on evaluating the challenges and opportunities for junior gold miners. Tresor Gold, a US based junior mining company is dedicated to responsible and sustainable exploration and mining projects in Sierra Leone’s two largest greenstone belts – Sula Mountains and Nimini Hills Mountains and we very much enjoyed discussing Chris’s views of the Arabia Nubian Shield opportunities in Egypt’ golden triangle, along with CEO, Tony Lawson.

Helal & Fraser International Legal Consultancy, a joint venture between Egyptian lawyer, Hader Helal and Scottish lawyer, Hugh Fraser, was formed to support clients’ business ventures in Egyptian energy ventures including the net zero critical minerals sector.