Egypt’s petroleum ministry has said that it has found gold in the Eastern Desert worth some $1.8 billion.
Observers have long believed that there are large amounts of gold in Egypt’s deserts.
The gold deposit is estimated to be over one million ounces, according to the ministry’s statement, which said it expected the money in investments related to the development of the deposit over the following decade.
The deposit was found on a mining concession run by the state-owned Shalateen Mining Company in the Iqat region.
Earlier this year Egypt changed its mining regulations in a bid to attract foreign companies, according to a report published by Mining.com, including reducing the fees the government collects from gold miners.
It has set a target of attracting $375 million over the next two years with direct investments expected to reach $1 billion by 2030.
When Canada’s Aton Resources received a licence to mine gold earlier this year it was the second permit Egypt had issued since 2005.
Shortly after this, Egypt started auctioning sections of the Eastern Desert for exploration.
Egypt’s mineral wealth remains undeveloped compared to the natural gas sector, according to Mining.com, and has now decided to prioritise gold exploration.
Shalateen and the state regulator the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority are going to form a new company to develop the deposit.
The ministry has said that it hopes to make $375 million from gold mining investments over the next two years.