CAIRO: The Ministry of Environment approved a project for the extraction of salts and minerals from Lake Qarun in the governorate of Fayoum, the ministry said in a press release Thursday.
The project is expected to produce highly-refined NaCL (Sodium Chloride) at a capacity of 50,000 tons a year, as well as salt for medical purposes at a capacity of 10,000 tons per year.
The Ministry’s Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) department endorsed the proposal “on the condition of compliance with the qualities and procedures presented in the plan, and laws regulating environmental protection,” read the statement.
According to EIA recommendations, the project is required to use “high technology methods,” and use vacuums and filters to properly manage the waste water.
Lake Qarun is the third largest lake in Egypt, and became a nature reserve in 1989. The government has been working on the problem of increasing salinity in the lake, due to nearby agricultural drainage that deposits water in the lake.
These watercourses transport around 70% of the drainage water in Fayoum governorate to the lake, according to data collected by the Environmental Ministry and the Fayoum Government in 2008.