The government is considering the allocation of a 35 sqm plot of land in Kafr El Sheikh to the Egyptian Black Sand Company (EBSC).
EBSC Chairperson Ashraf Sultan told Daily News Egypt that the land contains about 74 million tonnes of black sand in two plots, the first near Berket Galion (48 million tonnes) and the second near the electricity station (26 million tonnes).
He explained that he met with the ministers of military production, investment, environment, and housing, as well as officials from the Armed Forces Engineering Authority to discuss the exploitation of black sand in the two plots.
All parties agreed that investment in this land will be exploited only after EBSC extracts the minerals. Currently, the government is considering granting approvals to allocate the land to the company, being one of the national projects that achieve a great economic return.
In December 2016, the government allocated a land area of 50 acres in Metoubas, Kafr El Sheikh, to EBSC on a usufruct basis to establish a plant to separate black sand and extract economic minerals.
Sultan explained that EBSC agreed with the Australian company Mineral Technologies to supply drilling equipment and machinery for the black sand project in the Brulus area in Kafr El Sheikh. Yet, the Australian company asked to postpone the contracts due to concerns around operating in Egypt. Sultan explained that the worries are unfounded, as there are many foreign companies working in Egypt.
However, he said that the main reason for the contract’s postponement is EBSC’s keenness to conclude a precise contract that guarantees the company’s rights in all terms, which is not welcomed by the Australian company.
The two sides agreed to postpone the contract until the middle of next month. If the deadline is not met, EBSC will consider other scenarios, including negotiating with other companies or cooperating with another country.
EBSC was founded in February 2013 with a capital of EGP 1bn, while its board of directors includes a chairperson and eight members. The shareholders include five members of the National Service Products Organisation (NASPO) with a 61% share, as well as one member from the Nuclear Materials Authority of Egypt with a 15% share, one member of the National Investment Bank with 12%, one member from Kafr El Sheikh governorate with 10%, and one member from the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority with 2%.