By Earl Nurse and Sophie Morlin-Yron
Original Publish Date June 14, 2016
*Occasionally, when gold news is slow, GoldRecaps will post an interesting story from the past that does not involve current gold pricing.
Not far from the Valley of the Kings in Luxor, Egypt, ancient gold mines dating back thousands of years lie abandoned deep beneath the scorched desert soil.
An important source of minerals during the heydays of the ancient Roman and Egyptian civilizations, the mines now have a new function -- as a guide in the search for new sources of gold in Egypt's eastern desert.
"We are looking where they had mined gold before," says Mark Campbell, CEO of Alexander Nubia, an exploration company working in the area.
The ancient mines offer clues for where to drill. Not having to figure it out from scratch saves the explorers time and money.
"Using modern mining techniques and technology, we hope to recover a lot of the gold that they missed, because they were unable to mine it and process it."
A new gold rush on the horizon?
Thousands of years ago, slaves dug out the gold in underground shafts and the mineral was used for trade and crafts. Now, analysts say they the industry could flourish again.
"If you look at the potential of the mineral resources in Egypt, it's very significant," says Yousef Husseini, Vice President of EFG Hermes.
"The Egyptian mineral resource authority has identified over 120 gold deposits in the eastern desert alone, so that gives you an idea of the tip of the iceberg out there."
"It's going to add a lot of GDP growth," Husseini adds.
For now, only one large mine, the Sukari Gold Mine, is operating in the region -- with an output of around 500,000 ounces per year.