Located at the Red Sea’s Berenice-Sheikh Shazly Road, south of Marsa Alam, is the famous al-Salaee mountain, a 600 million year old monument of nature – whose existence is now threatened by marble and granite mining companies operating in the area.
Demands from specialists and environmental conservationists have been launched to the competent authorities in order to have the site preserved due to its geological importance.
A professor of environment and geology and expert in the Eastern Desert, Aboul Haggag Nusair, explained that the Salaee mountain is considered one of the most important geographical and geological features in the Eastern Desert.
As the mountain is located in low land, it can easily be seen from long distances, he said.
Nusair urged that all granite mining operations in the area be halted, especially as the mountain range has become a popular location for students of geography and geology departments in Egyptian universities to study firsthand.
His sentiments were echoed by environmental researcher Ibrahim Saad, who works in the the Red Sea reserves.
Saad confirmed that the Salaee mountain is at risk of disappearing due to cutting operations by granite excavation companies. He explained that the mountain is composed of a a single granite block, smooth at the top, resembling a bald head, with a height comparable to 200 meters of basal rocks of the same type of white granite in the Halayeb area.
An investor’s attempt to mine granite stones from the mountain had been stopped before, Saad noted, however a company has now begun mining the mountain once more.
In addition to its geological importance, the Salaee mountain has been used by locals in the area to determine their direction and distance while moving, Saad added.