Developing Industrial Minerals in Egypt for Export Markets

April 02, 2012

Dr. Ahmed Atef Rasheed, managing director of Rasheed Performance Minerals (RPMinerals Group), presented a paper at the 21st Industrial Minerals Congress & Exhibition held March 26-29 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Budapest, Hungary. Dr. Rasheed’s paper titled “Developing Industrial Minerals in Egypt for Export Markets” discussed briefly the history of the development of bentonite mining and processing in Egypt and the growing supply of bentonite to the Africa, Middle East, and European markets. He mentioned that his father, Atef Rasheed, founded Egypt Mining & Drilling Chemicals Co., the first RPMinerals company, on his discovery of bentonite in Egypt. Atef Rasheed is now the Chairman of the Group and had worked for 26 years in the oilfield prior to his discovery of bentonite. The paper included a discussion of RPMineral’s principal markets….oilfield, papermaking, foundry, and civil engineering. Dr Rasheed also discussed the success of the company’s subsidiary IDIC Specialty Drilling Chemicals in growing it’s organo-clay and organo-lignite by introducing a broad range of these products in the past five years and completing a multi-million dollar expansion to 25,000 MT per annum in late 2009. He also discussed the challenges of developing mineral resources amid a changing politico-economic landscape.

Ahmed Rasheed officially joined the Rasheed Family business in 1997 in the capacity of R&D Manager at Egypt Bentonite & Derivatives Company, one of six companies in the RPMinerals Group. Prior to joining the company, he received a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Alexandria University’s (Egypt) Faculty of Engineering in 1993. During 1994 to 1997, Mr Rasheed worked as a drilling fluids engineer for Egyptian Mud Engineering & Chemicals Company (EMEC) in Syria and Saudi Arabia. He returned to Egypt Bentonite & Derivatives Company and to Cairo University on a part-time basis. In 2000, he received an MSc in Chemical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering at Cairo University. His thesis was titled “The Use of Bentonite in Foundry Molding Sands”. During 2001-2004, Mr Rasheed attended the University of Manchester, UK under the sponsorship of Amcol Corporation where in 2004 he received a PhD in Papermaking Science. His dissertation was titled “The Use of Bentonite in Papermaking”. In 2004, he returned to Rasheed Performance Minerals taking on a broader role in all aspects of the business including mine and plant operations, business development, product development, and sales. Mr Rasheed became Managing Director in 2007.