Jordan Signs MoU for Gold, Lithium Exploration

Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and the Arab Mining Company signed Sunday two memoranda of understanding (MoU) to excavate lithium in Wadi Araba's Fenyan area and gold in Aqaba's Jabal Mubarak area.

The Jordan News Agency (Petra) quoted Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Kharabsheh as saying that the Arab Mining Company will explore for gold in an area of 50 square km in the Jabal Mubarak region and will explore lithium in an area of 35 square km in Wadi Araba's Finan area.

The exploration will continue for 12 months, and the geologist of the exploration area will exclude the areas located within the boundaries of the natural, archaeological, and geological reserves.

Kharabsheh stressed the importance of the deal, indicating the importance of the mining sector, which was described as having a high industrial value in the Economic Modernization Vision due to its importance in providing the national economy with added value, expanding job opportunities and contributing to efforts to achieve sustainable development.

Efforts are focused on placing Jordan firmly on the mining map at the regional and global levels, which helps economic development, especially in communities in investment locations, said the minister.

The Ministry of Energy conducted surface geochemical studies, including surface samples studies, which confirmed the presence of promising concentrations of lithium and gold ore in the south of the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Jordanian government signed a €200-million soft loan agreement with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance the National Water Carrier Project (Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and Transport Project).

The loan falls within an EIB commitment from a donor conference held in March.

The EIB loan would be part of the government's $352 million to the Project, which would provide about 300 million cubic meters of desalinated water annually to be transported from Aqaba to Amman and other governorates, according to the Petra news agency.

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Zeina Toukan said it was the first agreement signed to finance the National Water Carrier Project, which comes as a translation of the pledges made at the donors and financiers conference held last March.

Toukan added that Jordan would work with donors to translate the pledges into agreements during the coming period, indicating that the Project has significant environmental impacts.

She stressed the importance of the Project, which is a top priority on the government's agenda to enhance water security and achieve comprehensive economic development.

In turn, EIB Vice-President Gelsomina Vigliotti indicated that investing in the water industry is investing in the future, pointing out that through the ambitious Aqaba-Amman Water Desalination and National Water Carrier Project, Jordan would be able to adapt to climate change and would ensure environmental sustainability by using the potential of renewable energy to complete this Project.

She pointed out that the fruitful cooperation between the Jordanian government, its international partners, and EIB will contribute to providing financing to support investments to bring about a fundamental transformation in the water sector in Jordan.

EU Ambassador to Jordan Maria Hadjitheodosiou highlighted Team Europe's support for global efforts to adapt to climate change, emphasizing the importance of this funding for the National Water Carrier Project, which is the EIB's first financial commitment to the Aqaba project.

Hadjitheodosiou also noted that it reflected the EU's support to enhance Jordan's water security.