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Saudi Arabia issues 84 mining licenses in June

The total count of mining licenses reached up to 2100 with Riyadh topping the charts with 499

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Industries and Mineral Resources (MIM) has revealed that 84 mining licenses were awarded in June, including 51 exploration licenses, 26 building materials quarry licenses, and three surplus mineral ores licenses. A couple of licenses are granted for reconnaissance and exploitation purposes.

Going by the data provided by the National Center for Industrial and Mining Information in the ministry, the total count of valid mining licenses by the end of June was 2,100.

Looking at a break of these licenses tells us that the building materials quarry licenses with 1,368 licenses top the chart. In comparison, exploration licenses stand at a distant second position with 510 licenses. Rest numbers include 167 exploitation licenses, 31 reconnaissance licenses, and 24 surplus mineral ores licenses.

If we divide the licenses based on the regions, Riyadh has the most, with 499 mining licenses, followed by the Makkah region with 387 licenses, the Eastern region (Al-Sharqiyah) has 346, and the Madinah region with 236 licenses.

The mining licenses in the kingdom are broadly divided into six categories. According to the Mining Investment Law, these include a reconnaissance license for all types of minerals for two years but which is extendable; an all mineral exploration license is available for five years and applies to minerals of categories (A, B); a license for the type of minerals (C) for one year, a general-purpose license associated with mining or a small mine license.

It is estimated that the kingdom’s mineral wealth is spread across more than 5,300 sites worth more than $1.33 trillion. The Ministry of Industries and Mineral Resources looks to protect and maximize its mineral wealth in line with the Saudi Vision 2030. It aims to transform mining into the third pillar of national industry.

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