CAIRO, March 20 - RAPSI. Egypt's Higher Administrative Court has canceled the ban which was imposed last October on the gold exploration and mining activities of the Australian Centamin Egypt gold producer, the Egyptian State Council told journalists on Wednesday.
"The Higher Administrative Court has canceled an inferior court's ruling dated October 30, which invalidated the agreement between the Egyptian authorities and the Australian company Centamin Egypt on exploiting the Sukari Gold Mine in the Eastern Desert in the Red Sea Governorate," a State Council representative said.
The court has forwarded the case for additional consideration to the administrative court board to examine its compliance with the country's new constitution.
The court scheduled the final decision to be made on June 19, 2013.
In late October 2012, both the contract and an additional agreement were found to be illegitimate in accordance with the court's resolution. The additional agreement related to a concession issued to Centamin Egypt for the further development of the gold field in the Eastern Desert for the next 30 years, with the right to extend the agreement for the same period upon its expiration.
In accordance with the court's resolution, the Egyptian Administrative Court upheld the lawsuit of former Egyptian MP Hamdi Al-Fakharani, who sought to have the contract with the Australian company terminated, as he believed that it infringed upon the rights of the Egyptian people. Al-Fakharani said that by executing the contract with Centamin Egypt, Egypt loses several million dollars a day.
Centamin is a gold mining company that focuses on the Arabian-Nubian Shield. It has offices in London, the UK, Mount Pleasant, Australia, and Alexandria, Egypt.
Centamin Egypt mines gold at the Sukari Gold Mine in the Eastern Desert based on the contract it signed with the Egyptian government in 2004. This deposit has proven gold reserves of 52 metric tonnes, while its projected reserves are 10 times larger.