Saudi Arabia plans to accept new mining license applications in December

Saudi Arabia plans to accept new mining license applications in December
Over the next six years, the Regional Geological Survey Program aims to create a detailed dataset of the mineral resources of the Arabian Shield area, located in western Saudi Arabia. (Photo/Supplied)
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Updated 08 November 2020

Saudi Arabia plans to accept new mining license applications in December

Saudi Arabia plans to accept new mining license applications in December
  • New mineral data of the Kingdom will be publicly available soon

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia is planning to accept new mining license applications in December 2020, said Khalid S. Al-Mudaifer, vice minister for mining affairs and president of Saudi Geological Survey.

He also said the new mineral data of the Kingdom will be publicly available in the coming months.

Speaking at a Mines and Money [email protected] webinar titled “The regional geological survey program — the foundation for a new Saudi mining sector,” Al-Mudaifer said the Saudi mining sector has been earmarked for major investment — local and global — as part of the Saudi Vision 2030.

“The Saudi mining strategy and the Kingdom’s National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP) aim to transform the mining sector into the Kingdom’s third pillar of the industry, effectively creating an industry that could compete globally and stand on equal footing with the Kingdom’s already established dominance in petroleum and petrochemicals,” he said.

The Saudi government recently announced a comprehensive revision of the Saudi Mining Investment Law that provides a robust and transparent legal framework for the mining sector.

Highlight the Kingdom’s ambitious Regional Geological Survey Program (RGP), the vice minister said it is an integral step in developing the exploration and mining sector in the Kingdom.

“(The RGP’s data) would be used to inform the Kingdom’s future mining policy decisions and our ongoing strategic plan for the sector. But the key purpose of the program is to stimulate new investment. That’s why we are committed to the transparent and timely sharing of data with the general public, government, academia, and investors — existing and potential new investors,” Al-Mudaifer said. 

He said this data would be available through the NGD (National Geological Database) online, and he expected the initial batch of mineral data could be available within “a few months from now.” 

What is equally important, Al-Mudaifer said, is the recent publishing of three registers related to the Kingdom’s mining industry. 

“These registers are the license applications register, the issued licenses register, and the mining lots register.”

 Al-Mudaifer said that the purpose of these registries is to enhance transparency and provide current and potential investors with the relevant information.

Stephan Sander, CEO of Sander Geophysics, said that the RGP would help reduce risks related to investment decisions, as the surveys conducted would help delineate mineral-rich areas.

Over the next six years, the RGP aims to create a detailed dataset of the mineral resources of the Arabian Shield area, located in western Saudi Arabia, through airborne geophysical surveying, multi-element geochemical surveying, and detailed geological mapping. 

Simon Bosch, managing director of Xcalibur Airborne Geophysics, said that the Saudi dataset was long-awaited in the mining industry and that investors should be excited at having a greater understanding of the Kingdom’s mineral landscape. 


Market traders ready to ride ‘Biden bounce’

Market traders ready to ride ‘Biden bounce’
Updated 19 January 2021

Market traders ready to ride ‘Biden bounce’

Market traders ready to ride ‘Biden bounce’
  • "Biden moving into the White House could drive markets into a bull run more sharply than previous inaugurations," a financial expert says

DUBAI: Investors are expecting a “Biden bounce” in global markets following the inauguration on Wednesday of Joe Biden as the 46th US president.

“History teaches us that we can expect the markets to react favorably to the inauguration of a new US president — and this time around it is likely to be no different,” said Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, one of the world’s largest independent financial advisers, with over 80,000 clients and $12 billion under advisement.

“Indeed, Biden moving into the White House could drive markets into a bull run more sharply than previous inaugurations because it is hoped the incoming administration will bring stability and, possibly, a halt to the uncertainty following the fiercely contested election. 

“Investors will also be buoyed by the $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus announced by Biden, the Federal Reserve’s willingness to support markets, the new president’s multilateral trade agenda and his plans for stepping up the vaccine rollout. All of this will encourage confidence and optimism,” Green said.

Mazen Al-Sudairi, head of research at Riyadh-based financial services company Al Rajhi Capital, agreed with the optimism regarding a “Biden bounce.”

“One of the important outcomes with Biden is stability in the market. But there is also the stimulus factor coupled with the vaccine that is giving an indication of recovery in the market. This perceived unity in the US will be healthy for the global and Saudi market,” he told Arab News.

However, Green said that investors should be cautious for three reasons: “First, a market rally is going to be difficult to sustain indefinitely due to the enormous economic scarring caused by the pandemic.

“The major long-term headwind is mass unemployment, which is hitting demand, growth and investment on Main Street and which, ultimately, will have to impact Wall Street.

“Second, the new administration will have policies that will have an effect on different sectors of the economy. There will be a readjustment period that needs to be taken into account.

“And, third, not all shares are created equal and stock markets are heavily unbalanced at the moment. A handful of sectors are bringing up entire indexes,” he said.