Mining study deal stresses on environmental concerns

Updated 06 January 2013
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Mining study deal stresses on environmental concerns

RIYADH: King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, Maaden, signed an agreement in Riyadh yesterday to conduct environmental studies and to form research teams for the transfer of technological information.
The accord was inked between the President of KACST Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel and Maaden President and Chief Executive Officer Khalid S. Al-Mudaifer, in the presence of KACST’s Vice President for Research and Development, Turki bin Saud bin Mohammad Al-Saud at the KACST headquarters. 
Under the agreement, KACST will address the environmental concerns in Maaden’s mining and processing sites, and suggest means to improve safety procedures. The agreement will also explore means of developing human resources to provide specialized technical assistance for the mining factory workers. 
Speaking after the signing ceremony, Al-Suwaiyel said the agreement would serve for five years and aims to achieve a constructive form of cooperation for both parties that serves the best interests of the public.
He added that under this agreement KACST would support, encourage and implement scientific research in metal mining in Maaden, which would eventually contribute to the development of the mining and mineral industries in the Kingdom.
Al-Suwaiyel explained that KACST will form research teams specialized in technical areas of mutual interests to share expertise and technology transfers to the Kingdom in the mining and mineral industries.  
Other environmental concerns such as safety procedures and the evaluation of radiation safety, as well as strengthening human resources, and participating in international conferences, seminars and global gatherings, will also be established within the agreement. 
Al-Mudaifer said that the agreement meets the environmental needs of the company with regards to improving the working conditions and environmental conservation.  “We have prioritized scientific research as a criteria for future development,” he added. 
The agreement will also ensure the safety of all employees, their families and the surrounding vicinity of the company. 
As a national company, he said, Maaden aims to improve its projects to ensure sustainable development, which would ultimately benefit the nation and its citizens. 
Maaden was formed by a royal decree in 1997 to facilitate the development of Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources and was originally wholly owned by the Saudi Government before 50 percent of its shares were floated on the Saudi Stock Exchange (Tadawul) in 2008.
Initially Maaden’s activities focused on expanding its active gold business, which now includes five mines and over 11 million ounces of Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC)-compliant gold resources at operational and exploration sites. 
Maaden has also developed its activities beyond gold with the development of Maaden’s Phosphate Company, which started production in 2011. In addition Maaden has a number of projects in the pipeline including an aluminum company, which is currently under construction. 
Maaden’s exploration teams are working on expanding available resources in existing business areas, as well as broadening the company’s mineral portfolio.
According to Al-Mudaifer, Maaden projects and exploration programs are building value for its shareholders and proving the wisdom of the Saudi government’s actions in prioritizing the development of the Kingdom’s mining and minerals industries. 
“Our gold business now has five active operations and over 11 million ounces of gold resources. Maaden Phosphate Company is exporting Saudi made diammonium phosphate and our aluminum project is currently under construction. In addition, we have several projects in the process of construction, including a mine, refinery, smelter and rolling mill. We have more than doubled the number of our employees over the last two and a half years, begun a new stream of export revenue and continue to develop operations in regions across Saudi Arabia.”
Furthermore, he said: “We are building this progress on genuinely sustainable foundations. Maaden works diligently to ensure that its projects are developed and executed to the highest international standards, especially in terms of safety and environmental stewardship. We also work hard to develop our human resources and bring on new talents in our fields, ensuring that future generations are given every opportunity to benefit from employment in our industry.”  


Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

Updated 26 April 2018
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Saudi Arabia to send Syrians an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid

  • Total relief provided by the Kingdom since the war began now stands at about $1billion
  • Latest package announced by Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir at conference in Brussels

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia will provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the people of Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The announcement of the latest aid package was made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir on April 25 at an international conference on the future of Syria and the region, held in the Belgian capital Brussels. He pointed out that the meeting comes after the suspected chemical attack in the city of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, which killed dozens of civilians, including women and children.

“The world is facing a regime allied with terrorist militias who believe that spreading atrocities and committing crimes will bring victory to it, and that war crimes are bearing fruit,” said Al-Jubeir. “In addition to bombing civilians with explosive barrels, the policies of starvation and siege, ethnic and sectarian cleansing, and the demographic change of Syrian cities and towns, its use of chemical weapons have shocked the entire world.”

He said that the only acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis is a peaceful political resolution, and that Saudi Arabia has been working to achieve this since the crisis began, while also working with others to end the continuing human tragedy in the war-torn country.

The Kingdom has played a role in unifying the ranks of the Syrian opposition and encouraging them to speak with one voice, he added. After the Riyadh 1 Conference in 2015, Saudi Arabia hosted the Riyadh 2 conference for the Syrian opposition in November 2017, which succeeded in unifying the factions and establishing a negotiating body to take part in the rounds of talks held since then, earning praise from the United Nations.

The foreign minister also reiterated his country’s support for the efforts of the UN secretary-general’s envoy, Stephan de Mistura, to resume negotiations between all sides of the conflict.

“The Kingdom hopes that the agreements endorsed by the international resolutions on the ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid to its beneficiaries will be implemented throughout Syria, regardless of their ethnic, religious, sectarian or political affiliations, and calls for the speedy release of detainees and abductees and clarifying the situation of those absent,” said Al-Jubeir. “It also renews its demand to punish individuals and institutions for war crimes and to prevent their impunity.”

He added that the worsening humanitarian crisis affecting refugees inside and outside of Syria should add to the urgency of finding a political solution and resuming the negotiating process as soon as possible.

Since the war began, the Kingdom has taken in about two and a half million Syrians and treats them like its own citizens, Al-Jubeir said, providing them with free health care, work and education. Saudi universities and schools have more than 140,000 Syrian students. He added that Saudi Arabia is also supporting and helping to care for of millions of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon, in coordination with the governments of those countries. The humanitarian assistance provided so far totals about $1 billion.