RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Mining Co., also known as Ma’aden, finalized a deal to purchase 9.9 percent shares of American mining technology company Ivanhoe Electric Inc. for $126.5 million and form a 50-50 joint venture to undertake one of the largest exploration projects ever.
The joint venture will deploy $66 million of the $126.5 million to fund the exploration activities of at least 48,500 sq. km area and purchase three new-generation Typhoon machines.
“We are launching one of the largest exploration programs in the world in partnership with Ivanhoe Electric,” said Robert Wilt, CEO of Ma’aden.
“It’s great to see companies like IE recognize the scale of the opportunity here,” he added.
Ma’aden will utilize IE’s Typhoon geophysical survey technology to accelerate the exploration of an estimated $1.3 trillion of untapped minerals.
Wilt added that IE’s technology would put Ma’aden on track to meet its growth targets of 10 times the current value and fast-track the development of the Kingdom’s minerals.
“We have only scratched the surface of the potential in the Kingdom, and we need to explore faster, smarter, and cover more ground to meet our long-term growth objectives. IE’s Typhoon technology will enable us to accelerate our exploration efforts by six times and de-risk and advance the development of a significant exploration hub in the Kingdom,” Wilt said.
IE’s Typhoon transmitter provides an accurate and robust geophysical survey system to accelerate and de-risk mineral exploration.
“With our Typhoon technology, our computational geosciences’ machine-based learning software, and the combined talents of our highly experienced team of women and men, we have all the tools necessary to conduct a transformational exploration program for electric and precious metals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Ivanhoe Executive Chairman Robert Friedland.
Ma’aden agreed to buy approximately 10.2 million common shares in IE with a top-up option to maintain its 9.9 percent ownership. The company has also been granted the right to appoint a nominee to the IE board of directors.
IE is a US-based technology and mineral exploration company that combines advanced mineral exploration technologies with renewable energy storage solutions and electric metal projects.
Ma’aden is the largest multi-commodity mining and metals company in the Middle East and among the fastest-growing mining companies in the world, with revenues of SR40.3 billion ($10.7 billion) in 2022. Ma’aden operates 17 mines and sites with over 6,500 direct employees in over 30 countries.