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Saudi Arabia invites bids for six mining licences

The six new mining opportunities revealed by Saudi Arabia include gold, copper, zinc, lead and silver Shutterstock
The six new mining opportunities revealed by Saudi Arabia include gold, copper, zinc, lead and silver

Local and international investors are being invited to bid for the latest round of mining licences in Saudi Arabia as the kingdom ramps up operations across its minerals sector.

The six mining opportunities revealed by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources include gold, copper, zinc, lead and silver ore and cover a total area of more than 940 sq km.

The sites stretch from the Najran region in the south to the south-western region of Aseer, as well as Makkah and the capital Riyadh.

Technical offers must be submitted by the beginning of May with the winners expected to be announced in June.

The Saudi Arabian government said its untapped mineral wealth is estimated at $2.5 trillion, based on exploration of 30 percent of the country’s mineral region.

Last month, the industry and investment ministries officially launched a mineral exploration incentives package, valued at about $182 million. The programme, first announced in January, aims to encourage investment from domestic and international mining operators.

Demand for Saudi mining licences has surged since a mining investment law came into force in 2021, according to the ministry.

The number of building material quarry licences jumped to 538 in 2023, a more than threefold leap since the law was passed. 

Exploration permits rose to 259 from 58, a more than fourfold rise.

The ministry said the number of exploitation licences, which are issued as an extension to an exploration licence, had more than doubled from eight before the legislation to 19 in 2023. 

Mining sites in Saudi Arabia

  • Al-Halahila; Najran region; copper, zinc, and gold minerals 
  • Jabal Qaran; Najran region; copper, gold, zinc, silver and lead deposits
  • Makman Hijab; Riyadh region; gold and silver ore deposits
  • An-Nimas; Asir region; copper, zinc, silver and gold
  • Al-Hajirah; Asir region; silver, copper, zinc, lead and gold deposits
  • Al-Mihah; Makkah region; copper, zinc, lead, silver and gold deposits

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