Negotiations between the government and Naguib Sawiris, the Egyptian businessman, over acquiring a 51% stake in the state-owned Shalateen mining company, have come to a stop, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, told Reuters.

Sawiris who heads La Mancha, a private gold mining group, has previously expressed his intentions to enter Egypt’s mining market. It is worth noting that La Mancha was one of the companies competing in Egypt’s most recent international bid round for gold mining which El Molla announced its winners recently.