Saudi Arabia’s largest gold mine to begin operations Q1 2022 - Ma'aden CEO

Saudi Arabia’s largest gold mine to begin operations Q1 2022 - Ma'aden CEO
Saudi Arabia has huge underground gold reserves estimated at 323.7 tons. (Reuters)
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Updated 11 January 2022

Saudi Arabia’s largest gold mine to begin operations Q1 2022 - Ma'aden CEO

Saudi Arabia’s largest gold mine to begin operations Q1 2022 - Ma'aden CEO

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s biggest gold mine will start producing in the first quarter of 2022 as the Kingdom looks to ramp up exploitation of its reserves.

“In the pipeline, we have a project that will start producing next quarter,” Ma'aden CEO Abdulaziz Al-Harbi, told Arab News in an interview at Saudi Arabia’s Future Investment Initiative. “This project is our largest gold mine.”

The project in the Makkah region is using renewable energy for 13 percent of its energy requirements with a plan to increase it, he said.

The Mansoura and Masarah SR3.3 billion ($880 million) gold mine project in Al Khurmah Governorate in the Makkah region has been predicted to have a production capacity of 250,000 ounces of gold and silver.

The Kingdom is currently producing about 400,000 ounces from five mines that were developed in the last 10 years, but he wants to see a lot more, he said.

“The numbers we are seeing across the mining sector are not enough,” he said. “We need to have very ambitious targets during the next 20 years.”

The Kingdom’s mining companies need to invest in technology, to change the way metals are extracted and processed, and to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, he said.

Saudi Arabia has huge underground gold reserves estimated at 323.7 tons, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Official data shows that the Kingdom has six factories producing gold and silver bullion with an investment volume exceeding SR7 billion ($1.86 billion).

Al-Mudaifer told CNBC in August that studies have estimated $1.3 trillion in reserves of phosphates, gold, copper, zinc, nickel, rare earth metals and other minerals.

The number of workers in the Mansoura and Masarah mine in the construction phase exceeds about 4,500 employees, with a localization rate of 20 percent.

The total employees will reach 900 in the operation stage, with a localization rate of 49 percent. The mine will process the ore using “Autoclave” technology, a unique technology for extracting gold that is used in five locations around the world.


Dubai cooling firm Empower invites banks to pitch for IPO: sources

Dubai cooling firm Empower invites banks to pitch for IPO: sources
Updated 7 sec ago

Dubai cooling firm Empower invites banks to pitch for IPO: sources

Dubai cooling firm Empower invites banks to pitch for IPO: sources
  • The listing plans also aim to help the Dubai stock market compete more effectively with bigger exchanges in the region, such as those in Saudi Arabia and neighboring Abu Dhabi

DUBAI : Dubai’s Emirates Central Cooling Systems Corporation (Empower) has invited investment banks to pitch for roles in its planned initial public offering, which is slated for later this year, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Empower, which is part owned by Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has asked banks to pitch for joint global coordinator roles and respond by next week, said the sources, declining to be named as the matter is not public.

The request was made by Moelis & Co, which is acting as financial adviser on behalf of Empower, they said.

Empower and DEWA and Moelis did not immediately respond to requests for comment when contacted by Reuters on Wednesday.

District cooling firms deliver chilled water via insulated pipes to cool offices and industrial and residential buildings.

Dubai’s deputy ruler, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed, in November announced plans to take 10 government-linked companies public to boost stock market activity. The ruler named Empower as part of those plans in December.

The listing plans also aim to help the Dubai stock market compete more effectively with bigger exchanges in the region, such as those in Saudi Arabia and neighboring Abu Dhabi.

Gulf issuers have raised $8.76 billion from IPOs so far this year, Refinitiv data shows, exceeding European flotations even as global markets remain volatile in the wake of the conflict in Ukraine.

Gulf markets are highly correlated with oil prices, with Brent crude trading at more than $110 a barrel.

DEWA in April raised $6.1 billion from investors for its IPO, the largest across the region since Saudi Aramco’s world record $29.4 billion public share-sale.


Qatar dairy firm Baladna ups its stakes in Egypt’s Juhayna to 10% 

Qatar dairy firm Baladna ups its stakes in Egypt’s Juhayna to 10% 
Updated 20 min 41 sec ago

Qatar dairy firm Baladna ups its stakes in Egypt’s Juhayna to 10% 

Qatar dairy firm Baladna ups its stakes in Egypt’s Juhayna to 10% 

RIYADH: Qatar dairy firm Baladna has increased its ownership stake in Egypt’s Juhayna Food Industries to 10 percent in a deal worth 2.5 million Qatari riyals ($686,624).

Baladna has bought 1.4 million shares in Juhayna, bringing the total investment in the latter to 139 million Qatari riyals, it said in a bourse filing.

Further to a share purchase in 2021, the Qatar-listed company had raised its stake to 5 percent of Juhayna’s capital almost two months ago.

After the series of transactions aimed at expanding the company’s footprint, Baladna now owns 95.4 million of Juhayna’s total shares.


US private equity firm KKR secures $1.1bn in debut Asia credit fund: Bloomberg

US private equity firm KKR secures $1.1bn in debut Asia credit fund: Bloomberg
Updated 29 min 28 sec ago

US private equity firm KKR secures $1.1bn in debut Asia credit fund: Bloomberg

US private equity firm KKR secures $1.1bn in debut Asia credit fund: Bloomberg

RIYADH: KKR & Co. has raised $1.1 billion in its inaugural Asia credit fund that provides debt financing to companies, expecting volatility will spark opportunities and deliver high returns, according to Bloomberg.

The global private equity firm said it plans to play a larger role in meeting the unmet demand for private credit in Asia, where it sees an imbalance of financing despite the region’s economic growth.

“During times of uncertainty and volatility, traditional capital pulls back and that is an opportunity for alternative capital,” its head of Asia credit, Brian Dillard said, in an interview.

KKR contributed over $100 million to the fund through its balance sheet and employee commitments.

The firm has closed 14 credit investments in Asia since 2019, amounting to around $2.4 billion in investments. These investments ranged from real estate, education, and infrastructure to healthcare and bespoke credit loans for a variety of sectors.

Since 2004, KKR has operated its credit platform in Australia, China, India, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The firm manages approximately $184 billion of credit assets globally at the end of March.


Third Spain-France gas link could be ready in 2 1/2 years: Enagas CEO

Third Spain-France gas link could be ready in 2 1/2 years: Enagas CEO
Updated 37 min 49 sec ago

Third Spain-France gas link could be ready in 2 1/2 years: Enagas CEO

Third Spain-France gas link could be ready in 2 1/2 years: Enagas CEO
  • Spain has said any new gas infrastructure with France would need to be supported financially by the European Union

MADRID: A third gas link between Spain and France could be completed in two and a half years at a cost of 600-700 million euros ($640.14-$746.83 million) if the process was accelerated, the chief executive of Spain’s gas grid operator said on Wednesday.

The European Union is racing to find ways to wean itself off Russian gas after the major energy exporter invaded Ukraine, bringing interconnection projects into focus.

In discussions of energy security, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has highlighted Spain’s large number of terminals that can receive and store liquid natural gas. But limited pipeline connections with the rest of Europe make it less clear how they could be utilized in the short term.

Enagas’s CEO Arturo Gonzalo Aizpiri told reporters the connection, which was abandoned in 2019 after regulators decided it was not financially viable, could be completed at a cost of 600-700 million euros.

He said the estimate was based on a “conceptual study” and referred to the fact that gas transmission system operators act on the basis of decisions by their governments.

Enagas is one of a group of companies working to prepare Europe’s gas pipelines to carry low-carbon hydrogen.

Spain has said any new gas infrastructure with France would need to be supported financially by the European Union. 


Saudi retailer BinDawood expects to maintain good performance in Q2: CEO

Saudi retailer BinDawood expects to maintain good performance in Q2: CEO
Updated 55 min 18 sec ago

Saudi retailer BinDawood expects to maintain good performance in Q2: CEO

Saudi retailer BinDawood expects to maintain good performance in Q2: CEO

RIYADH: BinDawood Holding Co. is optimistic about continuing with a good performance in the second quarter following strong first-quarter results, which saw the company reporting a 5 percent growth in profit to SR65.5 million ($17.46 million), the retailer’s CEO Ahmad BinDawood told Argaam.

The lifting of pandemic restrictions has led to the return of more pilgrims to Makkah and Madinah, as well as more tourists and business travelers, resulting in higher consumer spending and footfall at stores in Makkah and Madinah, contributing to a significant rise in revenues, said BinDawood.

Talking about the company’s financial outlook for the second quarter, the CEO added that BinDawood Holding had a “very good” performance in all financial metrics and is “quietly optimistic” that it has finally turned the corner.

“We are unable to provide guidance, but we believe with a strong Ramadan and Eid season, as well as our ability to run promotions and marketing campaigns, we are confident in the year ahead,” he was quoted as saying in the interview with Argaam.

The retailer saw sales grow 13.9 percent and 18.5 percent year-on-year and sequentially, respectively, according to data compiled by Argaam.