Saudi Arabia plans 2 more auctions for copper mines after Al-Khunayqiyah tender

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Updated 16 January 2022

Saudi Arabia plans 2 more auctions for copper mines after Al-Khunayqiyah tender

Saudi Arabia plans 2 more auctions for copper mines after Al-Khunayqiyah tender
  • This will follow the licensing tender of the mineral-rich Al-Khunayqiyah site in southern Riyadh

Two auctions for copper mining licences are set to take place by the end of this year, according to the Saudi Vice Minister for Mining Affairs.

“We have two other copper auctions coming up at the end of the year and then, hopefully, this will attract attention and work. We will do more in the same model or a different model of bringing licences to be auctioned,” Khalid Almudaifer told Arab News in an interview.

This will follow the licensing tender of the mineral-rich Al-Khunayqiyah site in southern Riyadh, which he hopes will satisfy Saudi needs of zinc and even export some of it abroad.

Talking about the Kingdom’s mining sector, Almudaifer said: “It’s all there, so we’re starting from a blank canvas, yes, but we’re starting from a strong pavement that has been built over the last five years.”

The vice minister was optimistic, saying the infrastructure for the mining sector has been established, allowing the Kingdom to “leapfrog not in mining [only] but in sustainable mining” as well. He described the Saudi mining law as one of the best in the world.

When asked about Saudi Arabia’s mining potential, the vice minister said the $1.3 trillion estimate of untapped mineral wealth was just a start point, indicating the actual value of underground minerals could be far more than that.

“These are 2017-prices estimates and this is what is known at the time due to exploration from 1960 to 1997. It is not all that we have.”

In addition, the Kingdom wants to contribute more in the value chain, the vice minister said, using bauxite – which is the basis for aluminum — as an example.

The estimated value of bauxite was around $40 billion only, out of the $1.3 trillion appraisal. However, following an investment that was poured into the mineral’s value chain, the estimated value skyrocketed to $400 billion.

This was because they started selling aluminum sheets – instead of bauxite – which are in demand for electric vehicles manufacturing.

The former CEO of Ma’aden also said the Arabian Shield – situated in the western side of Saudi Arabia – is on par with the Canadian Shield and the Australian Shield, adding that it offers multiple mining opportunities in many minerals, including gold, zinc, copper and lead.

Almudaifer also said that Saudi Arabia furnishes investors with security of tenure, predictability and accountability.


Lebanon’s finance minister says replacing central bank governor is not ‘wise’

Lebanon’s finance minister says replacing central bank governor is not ‘wise’
Updated 8 sec ago

Lebanon’s finance minister says replacing central bank governor is not ‘wise’

Lebanon’s finance minister says replacing central bank governor is not ‘wise’

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s finance minister said on Thursday replacing the central bank governor, Riad Salameh, today is not “wise.”
Finance Minister Youssef Khalil told local broadcaster MTV that nobody proposed removing the central bank governor, but “I do not imagine changing the central bank governor today is a wise matter.”
Salameh, who has support from several top politicians, is being probed in Lebanon and at least four European countries, with his role under close scrutiny since Lebanon’s economic collapse in 2019.
Salameh denies any wrongdoing during almost three decades leading the central bank.


Aramco CEO says energy transition not going smoothly: Reuters

Aramco CEO says energy transition not going smoothly: Reuters
Updated 27 January 2022

Aramco CEO says energy transition not going smoothly: Reuters

Aramco CEO says energy transition not going smoothly: Reuters

BEIRUT: Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said on Thursday that the energy transition “was not going smoothly,” pointing to a resurgence in demand for oil and gas as the global economy recovers while supplies lag on the back of falling investment, according to Reuters.

“We all agree that to move towards a sustainable energy future a smooth energy transition is absolutely essential but we must also consider the complexities and challenges to get there,” he told the B20 conference in Indonesia via video link.

“We have to acknowledge that the current transition is not going smoothly,” he said.

- Reuters


SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021
Updated 27 January 2022

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

SNB board recommends dividends of over $1bn for the second half of 2021

RIYADH: Saudi National Bank, the Kingdom’s biggest lender, said its board has recommended cash dividends of SR4.03 billion ($1.1 billion), or 9 percent of capital, for the second half of 2021.

SNB’s shareholders will receive SR0.9 per share, with a total amount of 4.48 billion shares eligible for dividends, a bourse statement by the bank revealed.

This brings the annual dividend yield to 2.12 percent, based on a share price of SR73, given the bank paid out SR0.65 per share for the first half of the same year.

The distribution date is yet to be disclosed, according to the statement.


Data-led innovation needed to help Saudi firms process information, says Dell ahead of LEAP

Data-led innovation needed to help Saudi firms process information, says Dell ahead of LEAP
Updated 27 January 2022

Data-led innovation needed to help Saudi firms process information, says Dell ahead of LEAP

Data-led innovation needed to help Saudi firms process information, says Dell ahead of LEAP

RIYADH: The majority of Saudi businesses gather data faster than it can be analyzed and used, Dell Technologies has warned ahead of the LEAP tech event being held in Riyadh from Feb. 1-3.

The US firm is set to take part in the forum, which is focused on future and disruptive technologies.

Ahead of the event, Mohamed Talaat, vice president in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Levant at Dell Technologies, pointed to research by his company in 2021 that showed 70 percent of Saudi respondents have data-driven business and consider data as the lifeblood of their organisation.

However, 59 percent said they were gathering data faster than they could analyze and use.

Talaat said: “Saudi Arabia today stands at the threshold of change, underpinned by the nation’s ambitious vision and drive to transform, innovate and build a legacy for generations to come.

“Dell Technologies remains committed to advancing the country’s transformation agenda. We're empowering local organizations with end-to-end infrastructure and client solutions. They not only support a data-driven work culture, but are also capable of predicting the future and achieving better business results.”


Pandemic fast food orders see Saudi chain Herfy triple profits in 2021

Pandemic fast food orders see Saudi chain Herfy triple profits in 2021
Updated 27 January 2022

Pandemic fast food orders see Saudi chain Herfy triple profits in 2021

Pandemic fast food orders see Saudi chain Herfy triple profits in 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s largest food chain, Herfy Food Service Co. has seen over a threefold rise in its estimated annual profit for 2021, after a surge in its sales during the pandemic.

The estimated net profit amounted to SR162 million ($43.2 million), compared to SR52.8 million a year earlier, according to a bourse filing.

The hike was propelled by a jump in sales of 22 percent, reaching more than SR1.3 billion, as well as a fall in general and administrative expenses.

This came despite a decrease in other income and higher selling and marketing expenses, the Riyadh-based food chain owner said in a bourse statement.

Herfy Food Services was established in 1981, and the first Herfy restaurant opened in Riyadh that same year.