Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla has signed an agreement with the Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA) and Phosphate Misr Company to ensure the exploration of a phosphate ore, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

The agreement was also signed by Osama Farouk, the head of the EMRA; accountant Khaled El Ghazaly, head of the Egyptian Phosphate Company; in the presence of geologist Fekry Yousef, the Ministry of Petroleum’s Undersecretary for Mining Affairs.

The Phosphate ore is set to be explored in an area spanning across 220 square kilometers in Abu Tartur plateau in the Western Desert.

El Molla said that this is part of the Modernization Project that aims to develop mining materials and turn it into end products that secure the local market’s needs. He added that the Abu Tartur plateau is expected to achieve economic return as well as contribute to the economic development in southern governorates.