Head of Saudi Geological Survey: 400 Investment Requests in the Saudi Mining Sector

The Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) Eng. Abdullah bin Muftar Al-Shamrani (Photo Credit: Ghazi Mehdi)
The Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) Eng. Abdullah bin Muftar Al-Shamrani (Photo Credit: Ghazi Mehdi)
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Head of Saudi Geological Survey: 400 Investment Requests in the Saudi Mining Sector

The Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) Eng. Abdullah bin Muftar Al-Shamrani (Photo Credit: Ghazi Mehdi)
The Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) Eng. Abdullah bin Muftar Al-Shamrani (Photo Credit: Ghazi Mehdi)

The Chief Executive Officer of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), Eng. Abdullah bin Muftar Al-Shamrani, revealed that there are approximately 400 license applications for investment in the mining sector in general, submitted by foreign investors and multinational companies, apart from the applications from local investors, which are currently under process.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Shamrani stated that the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is currently preparing a specialized mining competition for sites in Medina, Riyadh, and Asir.

These sites contain copper, zinc, lead, and silver deposits. He further revealed that the announcement of the winners of the exploration license for each site will take place in the coming days.

Al-Shamrani pointed out that SGS is currently studying the implementation of an early warning system for earthquakes, as well as conducting detailed studies on the proposed locations for building major strategic development projects in the Kingdom.

This is to design earthquake-resistant buildings in accordance with the Saudi Building Code.

Furthermore, Al-Shamrani added that around 300 caves and rare geological landmarks have been discovered, which will position Saudi Arabia at the forefront of countries in the tourism sector.

He explained that the SGS is emphasizing the importance of these sites to the ministries of culture and tourism, with the aim of utilizing them for tourism purposes. There are joint committees actively working on this matter.

Al-Shamrani said that the strategy of SGS emanates from the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, where the focus lies in providing and securing mineral resources for the sustainability of local industries.

This is achieved through accelerating exploration efforts for mineral wealth and developing promising human resources within an institutional environment characterized by flexibility and cooperation, aiming to achieve operational excellence throughout the Kingdom.

As part of its strategy, the SGS looks forward to keeping pace with tangible developments in managing and providing high-quality, accurate, user-friendly, and easily accessible digital geological data.

Al-Shamrani clarified that the SGS is collaborating with relevant entities to build and consolidate integrated information on geological hazards at the national level.

They aim to establish a digitally-enabled strategy that leverages the latest advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence.

Additionally, they seek to foster comprehensive cooperation through establishing strong local and global partnership agreements.

According to Al-Shamrani, the number of discovered minerals, both metallic and non-metallic (industrial minerals and rocks), recorded in the Saudi Geological Database, has reached 5,611 sites to date.

He further explained that the production of copper and zinc in 2022 amounted to approximately 150,000 tons.

Additionally, permits were issued to export 380,000 tons of copper concentrates and 85,000 tons of zinc concentrates in the same year.



Saudi Arabia Unveils Extensive Mineralized Belts for Exploration Firms

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for launched mineralized belts (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for launched mineralized belts (Reuters)
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Saudi Arabia Unveils Extensive Mineralized Belts for Exploration Firms

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for launched mineralized belts (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for launched mineralized belts (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has unveiled its largest mineralized belts to date, spanning 4.7 thousand square kilometers and including five new exploration licenses.
The Ministry is inviting major mining and exploration companies to participate in the current Exploration Licensing Rounds, aiming to unlock the extensive mineral wealth of these belts.
The Ministry’s spokesperson, Jarrah Al-Jarrah, emphasized that this initiative underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to strengthening its mining and minerals sector and creating investment opportunities.

The five available exploration licenses are part of the Ministry’s strategy to boost exploration investment and support Vision 2030 objectives, which aim to position mining as a key industry in the Kingdom.
These licenses cover significantly larger areas than previous rounds and are targeted at high-net-worth companies with developed base and precious metal mines.
Saudi Arabia is seeking investors capable of exploring and discovering large, tier-1 deposits within approximately 1,000 square kilometers of exploration licenses. The Kingdom’s infrastructure and competitive financing options make it well-positioned to develop new tier-1 sites.
The Ministry is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for the following mineralized belts:
- Jabal Sayid: Three exploration licenses covering 2,892 square kilometers. The belt contains copper, zinc, lead, gold, and silver.
- Al-Hajjar: Two exploration licenses at the Wadi Shwas VMS Belt, covering 1,896 square kilometers. This site holds deposits of gold, silver, copper, and zinc.
Al-Jarrah highlighted that Jabal Sayid and Al-Hajjar are the largest mineralized belt sites ever launched by the Kingdom.
The bidding process for the exploration licenses will be transparent and conducted in stages, beginning with pre-qualification from July to October 2024.
Qualified bidders will then submit technical proposals and social and environmental impact management plans by December 2024, with the winners announced and licenses granted in January 2025.