On 7 July 2019, the Egyptian Parliament passed Law No. 145 of 2019 (the “Amendment”) amending Law No. 198 of 2014 on Mineral Resources (the “Existing Law”). Amendments to the executive regulation were to follow. The Prime Minister had issued a new executive regulation (the “ER”), which was officially published in January 2020.
The Existing Law and the Amendment both provide for the operation of public bodies, which between them have varying regulatory roles in the granting of exploration and exploitation licences for mines, quarries and saltworks.
The Amendment attempts to implement a more streamlined approach by introducing two new terms; a “Competent Entity” and “Competent Authority”.
A “Competent Entity” is a public body responsible for operating and managing quarries and saltworks. There are two Competent Entities in this regard – depending on the location of a quarry or saltworks area, the Competent Entity could be the Governorate or the New Urban Communities Authority (“NUCA”). This is the first time NUCA has been entrusted a role within the regulatory framework of mineral resources. Technical supervision of the project is delegated to EMRA.
The Amendment provides that, in respect of the issue of exploration and exploitation licences, the MOP is the “Competent Authority” for mining. The Governor or the Chairman of NUCA is the “Competent Authority” for quarries and saltworks, depending on the location of the quarry or the saltworks.