RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources issued 46 new mining licenses in January 2023 – a 33 percent drop compared to the previous month.
The ministry reported that the permits included 31 reconnaissance licenses, 14 building materials quarry licenses, and extra mineral ores license, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
It also reported that there are 2,230 mining licenses valid in the sector until the end of January 2023, with building materials quarry licenses accounting for 1,331.
This was followed by 647 reconnaissance licenses, and then 178 for mining and minor mine exploitation.
Some 42 were issued for observation, and 32 extra mineral ores licenses were granted.
Riyadh region gained the most mining licenses in the sector, with 507 permits, followed by the Makkah region with 418 permits. The Eastern Province had 369 licenses, Madinah had 242 and 191 licenses for Asir.
Saudi Arabia's Tabuk region had 139 licenses, Al-Qassim had 102 licenses, followed by 68 licenses in Hail, Jazan had 65 licenses, Najran was issued with 45, Al-Baha had 37 and the Northern Province area had 25, along with Al-Jouf’s 22 licenses.
In accordance with the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and the National Industry Development and Logistics Program, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources seeks to protect and increase the mining sector’s value.
To make mining the third pillar of the national economy and seek to harness the Kingdom's mineral resources, which are spread across more than 5,300 sites and are valued at approximately SR5 trillion ($1.33 trillion).