Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) announced the launch of the second licensing round in the kingdom for the issuance of an exploration license. Local and international mining companies can participate in the licensing round to obtain an exploration license in Umm Ad Damar site, which covers more than 40 sq kilometers and includes copper, zinc, gold and silver and four mineralized prospects that have been identified at Umm Ad Damar.
Umm Ad Damar Deposit lies 300 kilometers (km) northeast of Jeddah and 25 km northwest of Mahd Adh Dhahab city. It occurs in Jiddah geological terrane at Jabal Saiyd mineralized belt within Mahad formation.
The kingdom has recently announced the qualified bidders in connection with the licensing round for the Khnaiguiyah site and aims to announce the successful bidder for Khnaiguiyah in the third quarter of this year. The launch of a competitive bidding process under the mining regime of the kingdom represents “proof points” for the mining sector transformation efforts, especially to the legal and regulatory framework. The process is being managed in an efficient, transparent and fair way.
It is anticipated that the licensing round for of the Umm Ad Damar site will comprise of three stages: registration, qualification and bidding stage, where the ministry is planning to award the license by the third quarter of 2022. The data room of Umm Ad Damar is now available and includes all historical work conducted on the site as well as a 3-D geological model produced by an independent consultant. The data room also includes a recent geophysics surveying completed by the Saudi Geological Survey back in January.
The ministry’s approach represents a significant step in the licensing process to create mining opportunities in Saudi Arabia more attractive to investors in alignment with the kingdom’s main objectives in the licensing round: transparency, compliance and collaboration with mining sector players.
Thanks to Saudi Arabia’s recently revised Mining Investment Law, along with a revamped legal and regulatory framework, investors will benefit from a simple, transparent process when applying for a license and setting up operations. The kingdom offers unparalleled incentives to attract the investors qualified to deliver value for the mining sector and the entire value chain. These financial incentives include co-funding of up to 75% of CAPEX through the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF), a five-year royalty holiday for miners and royalty discounts for downstream projects.
Interested bidders for the Umm Ad Dammar are invited to submit a pre-
qualification questionnaire, which can be found in https://mining.mim.gov.sa/.