Gold mining company Centamin requested on Monday the dismissal of 2011 lawsuit over its Sukari mine concession after the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) ruled last week to uphold a law that bars third-party lawsuits against state-investor contracts, the company said in a statement Monday.
The court last week upheld the constitutionality of the Appeals against State Contracts Act, a 2014 bill that prevents third-parties from mounting legal challenges against contracts signed between the government and investors. The Administrative Court had asked the Supreme Constitutional Court to rule on the constitutionality of the act as part of a years-old case brought by employees of the Nubaria Seed Production Company (NUBASEED) against the government’s decision to privatize the company. The court’s decision means the 2014 bill will now apply to all active and future cases.
Amr Hassouna, Executive Director of Centamin Egypt, said that the Court’s decision threatens the validity of Centamin’s licence to own and manage the Sukari mine.
Hassouna told Daily News Egypt that the company is awaiting the issuance of the verdict to go to the Supreme Administrative Court, based on the decision of the Constitutional Court, in order to cancel a lawsuit filed by a person to invalidate the license of the Sukari mine in favor of Centamin Company in 2011, due to the lack of legal status of the person who submitted the complaint in his eligibility by demanding the cancellation of the contract between the Egyptian government and Centamin, because it is not a party to the concession agreement.
Centamin said in a statement that, in accordance with the provisions of the Egyptian Civil Procedures Law, its subsidiary, BGM, will soon submit a request to the Supreme Administrative Court to completely reject the original lawsuit in accordance with the provisions of Law 32.
The Supreme Constitutional Court ruled the constitutionality of the Government Contracts Immunization Law issued in 2014 after about 9 years of challenging its constitutionality.
Moataz El-Dreini, co-founder of El-Dreni & Partners for Legal Consultations, said that the issuance of the ruling from the Supreme Constitutional Court is a message of reassurance to the local investor before the foreigner, explaining that the foreign investor always wonders about the reasons for the decline in the volume of investments by local investors.
Al-Derini added to Daily News Egypt that the issuance of the decision came at the right time, especially in light of the need to reassure and attract more foreign investments, eliminate any state of imbalance, and provide more legislative and legal stability.
In a report, the Fitch Solutions research institute expected that Egypt’s gold production would increase by 108% by 2030, to reach 1.62 million ounces, compared to 0.78 million ounces in 2022.
The report said that the value of an ounce will reach about $1,850 in 2023, compared to $1,800 in 2022, up by 2.8%.