RIYADH: Amid the ongoing expansion in the mining industry in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic diversification plan, the Kingdom issued 71 new licenses in July, compared to 32 the month before.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, the new permits included 45 for exploration, 21 for quarrying building materials and five licenses for surplus mineral ores.
This allocation follows the ministry’s issuance of 34 permits in May and 55 in April.
The report stated that the total number of mining licenses valid in the sector until the end of July 2023 reached 2,348, topped by 1,453 for quarrying building material, followed by 651 for explorations.
Moreover, the ministry released 25 permits for surplus mineral ores.
From a location standpoint, Riyadh acquired the most significant chunk of the total mining licenses with 610 permits, followed by Makkah with 384 authorizations.
The Eastern province, Madinah and Asir received 380, 265 and 191 licenses, respectively.
Tabuk bagged 150 permits, while Al-Qasim and Jizan obtained 84 and 75 licenses, respectively.
The ministry has been actively pursuing options to safeguard the mining industry and increase its value per the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 objectives and the National Industry Development and Logistics Program.
Saudi Arabia is also on track to utilize around 5,300 mineral resource sites, valued at SR5 trillion ($1.33 trillion), as it makes mining the third pillar of its economy.
The Saudi government has introduced various regulations to attract private investment to its mining sector as part of this drive.
On Wednesday, the government allocated eight mining complexes for competition in the Riyadh region and the Eastern province, indicating the country’s continuous commitment to attracting investment in the industry.
The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources initiated this effort as part of a larger strategy to improve openness, attract investment and stimulate growth in mining communities.
In July, Saudi Arabia extended its global footprint in the mining sector after the Kingdom’s Manara Minerals secured a 10 percent share in Brazilian company Vale Base Metals Ltd.
The firm — a joint venture between the Saudi Arabian Mining Company, also known as Ma’aden and the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund — will now have access to supply chains across strategic minerals, including nickel, copper, and cobalt.