RIYADH: In a bid to expedite its exploration initiative, the Saudi Arabian Mining Co., also known as Ma’aden, has secured licenses for the Muhaddad and Ar Ridaniyah sites.
As part of the company’s bid submission, it has committed to investing SR15 million ($4 million) in community initiatives benefiting citizens in both areas, with SR7.5 million allocated to each site.
This commitment includes the establishment of a training center designed to empower local youth in the region.
Furthermore, the agreement mandates that over 60 percent of workers at the sites must be recruited locally, and it requires the execution of multiple exploratory projects at both locations.
The Muhaddad exploration site, located in the Asir region, covers an area of 139 sq. km and contains reserves of copper, zinc, lead, and gold.
On the other hand, the Ar Ridaniyah exploration site in the Riyadh region spans over 75 sq. km and holds significant zinc and silver deposits.
Jarrah Al-Jarrah, spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, said that the issuance of exploration licenses will strictly adhere to the Mining Investment Law and its associated executive regulations, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
These regulations mandate rigorous proof of technical competence and commitment to social and environmental standards for all companies seeking various mining licenses, a significant step toward ensuring sustainable development within the country's mining sector, it added.
Al-Jarrah also noted that Ma’aden’s offers outperformed the competition for both sites, demonstrating their superior suitability.
The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources had previously announced the eligibility of 13 companies to participate in the competition for exploration licenses in the Muhaddad and Ar Ridaniyah sites, with five companies and alliances ultimately applying for the licenses.
The issuance of new permits, announced by the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources on Wednesday, is a crucial development in the sector.
Launched last year, the ministry’s Accelerated Exploration Program initiative aligns with the goals of Vision 2030 and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program.
Its primary objective is to unlock the potential of the mining sector, aiming to position it as the nation’s third industrial pillar.