CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt has awarded 82 exploration blocks to 11 companies in an international bid round for mineral exploration, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said on Thursday.
Though Egypt has a history of gold-mining stretching back to the pharaohs, it has only one commercial gold mine, Centamin’s Sukari, which contributes up to $900 million a year to its gross domestic product.
The winning companies were awared only 29% of the blocks on offer in the bid round.
Egypt is targeting $1 billion dollars in investment in the mining sector and has opened up a second bid round for gold and mineral exploration from Thursday to last 4 months, Molla said.
Reporting by Ahmed Ismail; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Aidan Lewis, Robert Birsel
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