President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued on Monday a decree establishing an economic zone for Egypt’s Golden Triangle, an area of the Eastern Desert with a potential mining investment.
The decree establishes a 9.36 million-square-metre economic zone across Upper Egypt and the Eastern Desert between the southern city of Qena and the Red Sea towns of Safaga and Qoseir the government says will be used to attract global mining investors.
Egypt said the economic zone will take advantage of the country’s under-tapped mineral resources and develop Upper Egypt.
Egypt’s Eastern Desert holds immense potential for development of mining industry, both upstream and downstream. But the country’s regressive licencing and operating terms has always been an obstacle to attracting investment, especially from the international mining industry.
The government hopes to change all that with the new Golden Triangle Specialized Economic Zone (SEZ).
The Golden Triangle project is the second largest developmental project run by the government.
The proposed projects for the Golden Triangle developmental project include mining projects, such as using phosphate ore and constructing fertiliser factories. Other projects will utilise raw materials to manufacture cement from clay and limestone and produce gasoline from oil-based clay.
Egyptian cabinet announced last February that the SEZ will operate on the same lines as Suez Canal Economic Zone, with the Golden Triangle Authority having the freedom to organise government and private business operations in a rapid and progressive manner to help boost the region’s economy.
A 30-year development master plan, prepared by Italy-headquartered engineering consultancy D’Appolonia, integrates and anchors the region’s infrastructure, urban, agriculture, tourism and logistics projects to gains from mining development. The project is expected to generate over 400,000 new jobs and more than $18 billion in investments.