The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) holds huge potential from a mining investmentperspective. However, despite considerable mineral and metals resources, much of the region's mininginfrastructure remains under-developed. In many cases this is due to political instability which hasrestricted foreign investment and mining activity from taking placed on a significant commercial scale. Asglobal energy markets continue to underperform there is an increasing incentive for many MENA states todiversify their economies and to prioritise the development of their mining assets. This is particularly thecase in Oman, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states which remain heavily reliant on oil and gas revenues.Meanwhile, the lifting of sanctions against the Iranian economy is allowing the government to explore waysto harness its vast mineral wealth. In Iran, as in other countries, foreign investment will play a key role insupporting this development and increasing mineral and metals production, though political instability willremain at the forefront of investors' concerns in many cases.
Recent Updates And Developments:
In April 2017 it was announced that Egypt is developing a major gold mining city in the Suez Canal withthe hopes of boosting a centuries-long industry and luring foreign investment. Upon completion the citywill be Africa's major and only gateway where manufacturers can trade in and export gold. The gold citywill be built on an area of 130,000 sqm in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. The city would include 500workshops and small factories in addition to a gold refinery and an academy that offers training programsin all industries related to gold and other minerals. As part of the project, foreign gold companies wouldbe allowed to conduct mining concessions in specific areas.
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