Saudi Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef inaugurated the “Accelerated Exploration” initiative, announcing the launch of a mining exploration license at the Al-Khunaiqiah site in Al-Quway governorate. iyah in the Riyadh region, in in line with the objectives of the Vision 2030 and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program “Ndaleb”, taking advantage of the great opportunities For the potential of the mining sector, to be the third pillar of the national industry.
Al-Khorayef stated in an interview with Al-Arabiya during his visit to the Al-Khunaiqiah site that the site is the first part of the mining sector’s work, namely the allocation of sites through competition, revealing estimated quantities of around 26 million tons of zinc, copper and gold in this site.
It also made it clear that investors applying for mining competitions must submit a plan with a clear purpose and the responsibility of the Ministry to provide facilities and allow this plan to be approved.
Al-Khorayef expressed his aspiration that the site would be attractive for local and foreign companies to participate in this competition, for the development goals of the region and benefiting from industries related to mining and supply of raw materials. prime, in addition to the material objectives of the contests, noting that the launch of this contest is a qualitative leap towards the path of exploiting the Kingdom’s vast mineral resources through a mining investment system and accelerated exploration initiative, this project is also critical, above all In the development of the site web of Al-Khaneeqiah and in the creation of direct and indirect jobs For the people of the surrounding area, and for the development of the zinc and copper industries in the Kingdom.
He stressed that this step comes with the aim of completing the process of granting the current licenses established by the new mining investment system and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program “NADLP” aimed at attracting qualitative investments in the mining sector and increasing spending. for operations exploration, noting that the sites that will be offered for competition will be from the most attractive opportunities for mining investments in the Kingdom.
He considered it to offer exploration licenses in competition will enable the Kingdom to identify the most appropriate exploration partners to achieve long-term growth and investment in the mining sector. Transparency in the sector and provide opportunities with full transparency equally for investors in the mining sector.
Over the past few decades, numerous in-depth explorations have been carried out at the Al-Khaneeqiyah site, three expeditions have been conducted and more than 100,000 meters have been excavated, as well as the construction of a three-dimensional geological model recently developed by SRK Consulting, which led to the identification of four separate mineral bodies rich in copper and zinc at the Al-Khaneeqiah site, which has a lifespan of 15 years.
For its part, the Saudi Geological Survey recently launched exploration operations, in confirmed the great geological potential of zinc and copper ores in the Kingdom, minerals important for the world energy sector. Copper demand is projected to reach 3.5 million tons per year by 2030 AD and demand will double. Zinc from the solar energy industries alone will reach 160,000 tons within the same year, according to the Saudi news agency, “SPA”.
The Accelerated Exploration Initiative, which is one of the initiatives of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NDLP), and on which the Saudi Geological Survey is working, aims to improve the volume of investment in the mining field and accelerate the exploration process, as well as attracting local and foreign investors to explore the Kingdom and conduct strategic mineral surveys and assessments, as well as explore and develop promising sites to train and develop local cadres to build the exploration sector.
The initiative will provide detailed exploration studies for mineral deposits and advanced studies for targeted sites that can offer investment opportunities and build approved geological expertise to implement exploration phases according to the standard international standards for the evaluation of mineral reserves (such as “JORC”), as well as creating a guide for exploration procedures according to standard international approved. It will also help maximize and benefit from the value realized by the mining sector by increasing exploration spending and growth of small and medium-sized exploration firms and helping to increase the volume of mining exploration spending and investment, as 54 promising sites are currently been selected and classified and are in ongoing work to develop 20 promising sites over the next three years.
The Kingdom is working to make the mining sector the most attractive destination for foreign investment by applying the principles of transparency, compliance and security of possession as provided in the new mining investment system, as well as facilitating the journey of the mining investor by creating a full Digital “mining platform”, which allows the investor to obtain all the necessary services, as well as providing a series of investment incentives, including: co-financing of up to 75% of each new investment, discount of up to 90% per sale of local manufacturing projects and local support content, as well as creating job opportunities for citizens in new mining projects.
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