The new mining competition aims to complete the current licensing process based on the new Saudi mining investment system, which is one of the most important tools for attracting foreign direct investment from the private sector and increasing exploration initiatives.
In a statement, on this occasion, Abdullah bin Muftar Al-Shamrani, CEO of the Saudi Geological Survey, said that the launch of the Kingdom’s first mining competition in Al-Khunaiqiah opens a new chapter in our journey towards unlocking the potential of the Kingdom’s vast mining resources by accelerating exploration activities. International Mining Conference to be a platform to announce this very important step, given the large international presence of representatives of the mining sector from governments, major international companies, institutions and international economic organizations.
It is expected that the Khunaiqiya project, at a cost of two billion Saudi riyals, will provide between 2,000 to 3,000 direct and indirect job opportunities, and will contribute to the development of the zinc and copper industries in the Kingdom. Extensive exploration work has been carried out in the Al-Khenaiqiyah area over the past years through three exploratory campaigns, drilling more than 100,000 meters, and the completion of a 3D geological model that was recently developed by the consulting firm SRK Consulting.
For his part, the famous geologist, Douglas Kerwin, commented during the International Mining Conference in Riyadh, on this step by saying that it is an important step taken by Saudi Arabia to build a strong mining sector and take advantage of the Kingdom’s rich mining resources to enhance its economy, with a commitment to transparency and the application of best practices, and I am confident. That many local and international partners will participate in this project, given its magnitude.
In line with the aspirations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to make the mining industry a more attractive destination for foreign investment, the licensing process for mining projects will be subject to the principles of transparency, compliance and security of tenure as stipulated in the new mining investment law. This includes a fully digital license application process to achieve complete transparency, as well as providing a number of investment incentives, including funding for up to 75 percent of any new investment.
It is noteworthy that the step of launching the first mining competition opens the door for major international players to participate in investing the mineral wealth in the Kingdom, which, of course, supports the growth of the mining industry at all levels. In this regard, Matthew Fifield, Managing Partner at Pacific Road Capital said that this is an important step in the right direction and will lead to the creation of many similar opportunities.
The details of the competition process were also announced on the Mining Platform website: