The government of Libya has granted gold mining rights to the Blue Castle Mining Company. The country’s Privatisation and Investment Board (PIB) announced that the licence was granted according to Libya’s Law No. 2 of 1971 regarding mines and quarries, which stipulates in Article 8 that ‘‘the granting of a license to prospect and an investment contract is in return for a royalty or rent or both’’ and that the values of royalties and rents belong to the National Mining Corporation.
The PIB said this move comes within the framework of the national plan to activate the national economy with the aim of institutionalizing the economy and moving from an informal to a formal economy, due to the emergence of many unofficial and illegal acts in the field of trade in gold and precious metals.
Reducing dependence on oil
It also comes within the government’s desire to diversify the incomes of the national economy and reduce dependence on oil as the sole source of public income. To this end, the PIB’s Investment Promotion Law No. 9 of 2010 and its executive regulations were activated, allowing for investment in various economic activities and giving priority to the national investor and local capital and opening the door for competition to invest in various fields.
The PIB noted a couple of advantages of prospecting for gold in Libya for the Libyan economy including; Completion of geological and geochemical studies to ascertain the existence of this ore or not, diversifying the national economy’s income if this ore is available in economic quantities, spatial development of areas in which the presence of ore has been confirmed, providing job opportunities for locals, framing and legalizing the trade in gold and precious metals and institutionalizing this activity among others.