Barrick Gold, a global mining company, is aiming to forge a strong relationship with Saudi-based Ma’aden, its CEO Mark Bristow said in a press briefing.
While Barrick is mainly interested in gold and copper, Bristow added any other metals they will find in the Kingdom will be transferred to Ma’aden.
“Our commitment is to build a strong partnership with Ma’aden in our endeavor to develop world-class business in Saudi Arabia,” Bristow said.
In what he termed as a “critical milestone,” the Canada-based mining firm has recently employed six women in the Jabal Sayid Mine – a rural mine. Three of those women were from the local community and one was an engineer.
He also said production at that site rose by 50 percent while costs declined to increase efficiency.
He added the Arabian Shield – located in the western part of the Kingdom at the Red Sea Coast – is a very large, “effectively unexplored” area for potential mining.
“Saudi Arabia has amazing data, but no one’s really processed it. That’s why it’s attractive for us because the path to new opportunities is much shorter in this terrain and it would be a much more mature terrain geologically,” the South African businessman explained.
On the other side of the Red Sea, the Nubian Shield offers similar opportunities. He described Egypt’s Sukari gold mine as a “tier-one” asset and one of the largest gold deposits in the world.