Naguib Sawiris
Rainmakers & Potstirrers

Naguib Sawiris

CHARIPERSON: La Mancha Resource Capital

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‘We are seeing opportunities in a gold mining sector that is fragmented and needs further consolidation’

EGYPTIAN billionaire Sawiris first got into the gold mining business through his investments in Endeavour Mining which he initially helped bankroll and is the largest investor, holding a 19% stake. Endeavour operates in West Africa but the gold mining business seems to be moving a lot closer to Sawiris’s neck of the woods with increasing exploration interest in the Arabian-Nubian shield geological formation which covers parts of Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia.

This is being viewed as the ‘next big gold exploration target’. The best description we have seen came from Pan African Resources CEO Cobus Loots who commented: “There’s a crap load of gold. It’s completely underexplored.” But – as anyone with an interest in geopolitics will know – this is a dodgy part of the world to go mining in given the various insurrections and civil wars underway. You can ask Loots again. He had to do a ‘hard extraction’ of his exploration team last year from Sudan when hostilities broke out yet again.

Sawiris consolidated all his gold interests from La Mancha Holding into the La Mancha fund in July 2021. As of end-2022 the fund had $1.3bn invested. According to Sawiris this is a “deep-value, long-only fund dedicated primarily to gold mining” which he added “is the natural consequence of what we have been doing since we vended-in our operational assets into Evolution and Endeavour in 2015”. The fund aims to “acquire significant stakes in junior mineral resource companies with strong managerial and geological potential to implement a three- to five-year value creation strategy”.


According to Forbes he is worth some $3.3bn and is a scion of Egypt’s wealthiest family, with his brother Nassef also being a billionaire. He built his fortunes in telecoms selling Orascom Telecom in 2011 to Russian telecom firm VimpelCom in a multibillion-dollar transaction. He is prepared to speak his mind on key issues such as in 2019 when he ruled out making any investments in Saudi Arabia in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, commenting: “Why would I go somewhere where I’m not convinced that there is a rule of law and order?”

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