12 Aug 2022

Saudi ministry offers investment opportunity for a license to detect gypsum ore

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has launched an investment opportunity for an exploration license for gypsum ore amid a drive to develop the Kingdom’s mining sector.

The new opportunity will see bidders compete for permission to dig in the Al-Qasab wells, located south of the Nabat Center in the Madinah region, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The announcement comes as the ministry aims to support investors, enhance investment in the mining sector and encourage national industries.

Last Wednesday, the ministry revealed that Saudi Maaden, AMAK and Vedanta were among 13 qualified bidders in the pre-qualification stage for a license at Umm Ad Damar mining site.

The announcement of qualified bidders marks the end of the first phase of the process to obtain a license to inspect the Umm Ad Damar site.

It will also hold a workshop this month for qualified bidders to clarify more details about the upcoming stages.

The Kingdom’s mining industry has already attracted a number of foreign investors, most notably global giants Barrick Gold and Alcoa.

Mining is increasingly a key element of Saudi Arabia’s economic development, after energy and petrochemicals, as the Kingdom seeks to wean its economy off oil production and exports.

Saudi Arabia is expecting its mineral wealth to exceed earlier estimates of $1.3 trillion as the Kingdom plans to triple spending on the exploration of metals over the next three years.

The value of the global mining market is expected to increase to $206 trillion in 2022 and to $335 trillion in 2026, up from $184 trillion in 2021, constituting a rise fueled by post-pandemic surge in commodity prices, MEED reported.

During the first six months of 2022, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources’ mining issuance has shown a steady pattern.

With a total of 466 mining licenses issued during the first six months, February saw the highest number with 100, up from 67 licenses in the previous month.

In line with Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom aims to transform the mining sector into the third pillar of the national industry and work on exploiting the mineral wealth in the Kingdom that values around SR5 trillion ($1.3 trillion)