Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

Mining licences granted for six sites in Saudi Arabia

They will spend SAR136 million ($36 million) on exploration, and an additional 15 million to develop local communities Olivier Asselin/Alamy via Reuters Connect
Mining companies will spend an estimated SAR136 million on exploration
  • Five companies to mine for metals
  • Total area of 1,000sq km
  • Maaden wins Nimas site in Aseer

Saudi Arabia has granted exploration rights to five local companies to mine for precious metals at six sites around the country, while a further round of licence bidding has been opened. 

The locations at Al-Halahilah, Jabal Qaran, Makman Hijab, Al-Hijra, Nimas and Al Miyah exploration sites cover a total area of around 1,000 square km in Najran, Aseer, Mecca and Riyadh regions, a ministry of industry and mineral resources official said this week.

The state mining giant Maaden is among the companies chosen, winning the tender for the Nimas site in Aseer. The Al-Halahilah site in Najran went to an alliance of Saudi Eqleed Group and the Indonesia-based Indotan Mining Company. 



There were 18 bidders in total, including some unnamed international companies. They will spend SAR136 million ($36 million) on exploration, and an additional SAR15 million to develop local communities. 

This was the largest area offered to tender so far, and opened to tender in April. The companies will explore for gold, silver, zinc and copper. 

The ministry has opened bidding for a sixth round of licensing this year. 

“This round will offer nine sites, with the aim of encouraging more investments and enabling small and medium mining and exploration companies to participate in developing the mining sector,” a spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, Jarrah bin Mohammed Al-Jarrah, told the official Saudi Press Agency. 

Saudi Arabia has made mining a priority industry for growth. The ministry has offered a mineral exploration incentives package, valued at about $182 million, to encourage interest from domestic and international mining operators. 

The kingdom has only long-shot hopes for mining lithium for its electric vehicle manufacturing plans and uranium that could be used in its nuclear energy programme. 

Maaden has developed a strategy for sourcing lithium from abroad, while the United States is pressing the government to buy uranium on the open market.

Latest articles

Saudi inflation June 2024. Clothing and footwear prices in Saudi Arabia were down 3.2 percent year on year in June, and 0.2 percent month on month

Non-oil discounting brings Saudi inflation down

Saudi Arabia’s year-on-year consumer inflation rate fell to a low of 1.5 percent as non-oil businesses competed over prices but the wholesale price index remained at a high of 3.2 percent, reflecting high prices globally.  The consumer price index was down from 2.7 percent in June 2023. The CPI was also down from the 1.6 […]

hasan al fardan

Fintechs having ‘no impact’, says remittances CEO

Fintechs are no threat to the UAE-based remittances company Al Fardan Exchange, its CEO Hasan Al Fardan has declared. Al Fardan said there was no intention to drop fees to compete with finance technology startups. To date, he said, fintechs have had “no material impact on our business or our operations. We are hitting record […]

Almost 300,000 European visitors contributed to Oman's hotel revenues growing by more than 10 percent

Oman hotel revenues increase more than 10%

Hotel revenues across Oman were up by more than 10 percent in the first five months of 2024, fuelled by an increasing number of Asian and European visitors to the sultanate. Three-to-five star hotels reported revenues of OR108 million ($281 million) at the end of May, the latest data from the National Centre for Statistics […]

Saudi fishing trawlers

Saudi fishing industry bolstered by support plan

Saudi Arabia’s fishing industry has landed a financial support programme from the government as part of plans to develop and safeguard the sector. Fish production in the kingdom increased 80 percent in 2023 year on year to 214,600 metric tonnes. The goal is to increase that by 7 percent to 230,000 tonnes this year. The […]