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.
Regulations of search license in mines:
- The license of search in mines should be issued by the decision of the Minister or the Governor with the approval of the competent Authority.
- The duration of the search license is two years and can be renewed for one period only
- It’s not allowed for the search licensee to take ore sample unless a written approval from the competent authority is obtained
Regulations of exploitation licensing of mines, quarries, and salt pans:
- Obtain a valid search for mineral raw in the same required space, whether the exploitation for the whole space or part of it.
- Provide a technical report from the licensee that proves the existence of raw materials. This report should show the economic returns from the exploitation and exploitation program and the necessary guarantees .
- The approval of the license is done by the Minister or the Governor after the approval of the competent Authority ; In case of refusal of the license, a reasoned decision should be available.
- The duration of the exploitation license shall not be more than fifteen years and may be extended under the law for five years.
The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (“EMRA”); is the entity responsible for operating and managing mineral resources activities.
The Department of Mines & Quarries Egypt; The body is intrusted with the licensing of exploration and exploitation activities and the implementation of the Mining Code.