Saudi Aramco reviewing its production operational plans

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is offering new exploration licenses for gold, copper, zinc, lead, and silver ores, in a bid to secure both local and international investors to the mining sector.   

The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has invited bids for six new high-value opportunities, covering a total area of over 940 sq. km, as part of the fifth round of mining competitions across various regions of the Kingdom. 

The prospects include the Al-Halahila site in Najran, which covers an area exceeding 34 sq. km. and hosts deposits of copper, zinc, and gold minerals. 

The Jabal Qaran site, also in the Najran region and spanning over 57 sq. km, is likewise available. 

“The Kingdom offers a range of incentives, including obtaining financing of up to 75 percent of capital costs through the Saudi Development Fund, in addition to benefiting from a five-year exemption period from financial consideration for new mining licenses,” the ministry stated on X, formerly known as Twitter. 

Other sites include Makman Hijab in Riyadh, covering more than 118 sq. km and encompassing gold and silver ore deposits. Additionally, the An-Nimas site in the Asir region spans over 222 sq. Km. and contains copper, zinc, silver, and gold. 

Moreover, the Al-Mihah location in Makkah, spanning over 234 sq. km, offers deposits of copper, zinc, lead, silver, and gold. Similarly, the Al-Hajirah site in Asir, covering more than 274 sq. km, also contains these minerals.

The ministry has set May 2024 as the deadline for technical submissions for competing for exploration licenses at the proposed sites. It has provided an information platform containing geological and technical data for these locations. 

Winners are anticipated to be announced by the conclusion of June 2024 during the bidding phase of the fifth round. 

Furthermore, it has designed the competition to facilitate the participation of local and foreign companies with experience in the mining exploration sector. 

The site allocation will be determined by factors such as technical proficiency, operational programs, social and environmental impact assessments, and innovation strategies. 

This is within the framework of the ministry’s efforts to create added value and achieve impact in the minerals sector and value chains. 

The introduction of competitions for mining exploration licenses is part of the Kingdom’s Accelerated Exploration Initiative, unveiled by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources in 2022. 

This initiative aims to harness Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources and boost the mining sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product. By doing so, it looks to bolster the national economy and create high-quality job opportunities for the populace. 

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