Aton Resources Wins Egypt Mining Rights as Cairo Woos Investors

(Bloomberg) --

Aton Resources Inc. secured mining rights in Egypt, becoming the second international company licensed to explore for gold and other metals as the country eases rules to woo investors.

Aton won government approval to mine in Hamama in Egypt’s Eastern Desert region, the Vancouver-based company said in a statement. It also retained rights to explore in the Abu Marawat concession in the Arabian-Nubian Shield region, about 200 kilometers (124 miles) north of the nation’s lone gold mine, Sukari, where Centamin Plc is the operator.

“As only the second mining license to be issued since Centamin’s, this is historic news for Aton and Egypt,” Chief Executive Officer Mark Campbell said.

Mining companies have long complained that Egypt’s system of royalties and profit-sharing agreements have made it difficult and unprofitable for them to explore for and exploit minerals. Cairo, seeking to stoke investor interest, issued new regulations last month to address these issues. It limited state royalties and dropped a requirement for mining companies to form joint ventures with the government.

Egypt’s mineral wealth remains largely under-explored and undeveloped, unlike its deposits of natural gas. Aton has identified a number of gold and base metal exploration targets in Abu Marawat, it said.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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