FILE - Black Sand in Egypt's Delta – Wikimedia/Shaaban Ghanem
CAIRO – 28 January 2019: The Parliament approved on Jan. 27 a draft law authorizing cooperation between the Electricity Ministry and specialized local bodies to benefit from Egypt's black sand and extract a number of economic minerals, considering it a real investment in renewable energy.
The draft law sent by the Cabinet and approved by the Parliament allows cooperation between Electricity Minister Mohamed Shaker, the Cairo-based Nuclear Materials Authority and the Egyptian Black Sand Company (EBSC).
During the term of former Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, he stressed the need for a license before making use of the country's natural resources in order to preserve them, the Cabinet's media council reported.
The Cabinet said that a meeting headed by Ismail decided to quickly complete the preparation of a law determining places rich with black sand in order to strengthen the role of the EBSC.
Since the EBSC was established under the provisions of Law No. 159 of 1981 with a capital of LE 1 billion ($55.8 million), it has been working to excavate minerals and extract them from the black sand, the Cabinet said, adding that Ismail pointed to the need for coordination to remove the obstacles facing the company.
Black sand projects in Egypt include pulling out and processing black sand to obtain ilmenite, magnetite, rutile, zircon, garnet and monazite.
A research conducted by the Nuclear Materials Authority revealed that Egypt has about eleven sites on the northern coasts where black sand spreads at high concentration, starting from Nile Delta's Rosetta to North Sinai's Arish, covering the distance of 400 kilometers.
Black sand, according to Parliament's Energy and Environment Committee, is one of the prominent sources of many minerals of economic importance including radioactive uranium. It is also used in many industries including rocket and aircraft industry, ceramics, paints and nuclear radiation materials.