Egypt has a rich mining history dating to the pre-dynastic period 3100 BC. It is reported that 1700 tonnes of gold were mined between 3900BC – 1977 AD. Egyptian civilization is, therefore, one of the most ancient civilizations which practised mining and processing of metallic and non-metallic ores. Ancient Egyptians are reported to have quarried the dimensional stones in a very orderly manner to obtain geometrically shaped blocks with exact dimensions to build tombs, temples and even pyramids. (Abouzeid and Khalid (2011)). In 2014, Egypt was Africa’s second-ranked producer of natural gas after Algeria and the fourth-ranked producer of crude oil after Nigeria, Angola, and Algeria.
Egypt was also Africa’s leading producer of direct-reduced iron (DRI) and the second-ranked crude steel producer after South Africa. Additionally, Egypt was an important producer of cement, nitrogen fertilizer, and phosphate rock. Metal and mineral-based commodities produced by companies in Egypt included aluminium, ferroalloys, gold, iron ore, manganese, secondary copper, and tin. Egypt also produced such industrial minerals as barite, basalt, bentonite, dolomite, feldspar, fluorspar, granite, gypsum, ilmenite, kaolin, limestone, marble, quartz, salt, sand and gravel, sandstone, silica sand, soda ash, sulfur, and talc. The country’s production of fuel minerals included coal, crude oil and condensate, and refined petroleum products (Mowafa Taib (2017)).
With respect to Egypt’s estimated resources, the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) (See data tab for detailed review) estimates Egypt’s major mineral resources to include 5.0 billion metric tons (gt) of silica sand, 1.25 gt of phosphate rock, 1.0 gt of feldspar, 900 million metric tons (Mt) of iron ore, 224 Mt of nonferrous metals, and 150 Mt of bentonite. With regards to Industrial minerals, The EMRA also identified large quantities of limestone (587 Gt), clay (200 Gt), dimension stone (4.2 gt), dolomite (1.2 gt), and gypsum (1.0 gt). Other mineral resources included quartz (60 Mt), ilmenite (40 Mt), nepheline syenite (26 Mt), coal (21 Mt), molybdenum (8 Mt), tin (2.5 Mt), strontium (2.2 Mt), and barite [162,000 metric tons (t)] (Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority, 2014, p. 10, 11). Egypt is a country abounding with mineral potential seeking more investment into its natural resource sector and is attracting interest from major mining companies particularly after the country reviewed its mining regulations in 2019.
In February 2020 Canada-based Aton Resources (TSXV: AAN) received a mining licence for its Hamama deposit. Another major mine in Egypt is the Sukari Mine which is operated by Centamin (LSE: CEY) this mine is reported to have produced 480, 529 ounces of gold in 2019 according to Centamin.
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