Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources Releases Pre-Qualification Questionnaire for Licensing Round of Five Exploration Sites in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh– Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) announced the launch of the pre-qualification stage of the licensing for five exploration sites in the Kingdom.

Local and international mining companies are invited to participate in the licensing round to obtain an exploration license for the following VMS deposit sites: Muhaddad site covering 138.69 sq kilometers and includes copper, zinc, lead and gold located within the underexplored Bisha belt, in the Asir region. Ar Radainiyah site covers 75.86 sq kilometers and includes zinc, located within the underexplored Alamar belt in the Riyadh region. Umm Hadid site covers 246.35 sq kilometers and includes copper, zinc, lead and silver, located within the underexplored Nabetih belt in the Riyadh region. Bir Umq site covers 187.37 sq kilometers and includes copper and zinc, located within the underexplored Jabal Sayd belt in the Al Madinah region. Jabal Sahabiyah site covers 283.81 sq kilometers and includes copper, zinc, and lead, located within the underexplored As Shaib belt in the Asir region.

The licensing round for the five sites will is in two stages: the qualification stage and the proposal stage the qualified bidders are invited to submit their best work program and social & environmental impact management plans.

The Ministry is planning to conclude the licensing rounds for the five sites by the third quarter of 2023, with the anticipated conclusion date of both Muhaddad and Ar Radiniyah being the second quarter of 2023, while Umm Haddid, Bir Umq, and Jabal Sahabiyah will be completed by Q 3 2022. The data rooms of the five sites are now available and include all historical work conducted on the site and a pre-feasibility study.

The Ministry’s approach represents a significant step in the licensing process to make mining opportunities in Saudi Arabia more attractive to investors in alignment with the Kingdom’s main objectives in the licensing round: transparency, compliance, and collaboration with the mining sector.

Following the launch of the licensing round for the first exploration license issued through a competitive bidding process in the Kingdom in January 2022, the Kingdom has successfully awarded the license for the Khnaiguiyah exploration site and announced the preferred bidder for the Umm Ad Damar site in Q4 2022.

The success of the first two licensing rounds represents ‘proof points’ for the mining sectors transformation efforts in the Kingdom, in which the Ministry ensured an efficient and transparent process throughout all stages, and demonstrates the Kingdom’s commitment to ensure maximizing the benefits of mining activities including local content development.

The Kingdom offers unparalleled incentives to attract investors qualified to deliver value for the mining sector and the entire value chain. These financial incentives include co-funding up to 75% of CAPEX through the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), a five-year royalty holiday for miners and royalty discounts for downstream projects.

Interested bidders for the five sites can submit a pre-qualification questionnaire which can be found on the following website:

Source: Saudi Press Agency