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Saudi Arabia issues 80 mining licenses in May
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 01 - 07 - 2022

The Saudi Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources issued 80 new mining licenses last May, including 64 building materials and quarry licenses, nine exploration licenses, six surplus mineral ore licenses and an exploitation license, according to the report of the National Industrial and Mining Information Center.
The report indicated that the total number of valid mining licenses in the sector reached 2,069 by the end of May 2022. Building material and quarry licenses took the lead at 1,357, followed by exploration licenses 497, exploitation licenses 165, reconnaissance licenses 29 and surplus mineral ore licenses 21 respectively.
According to the report of the National Industrial and Mining Information Center, Riyadh region accounted for the largest number of valid mining licenses with 453, followed by Makkah region with 391, the Eastern Province with 339, and Madinah region with 233 licenses.
The Mining Investment Law and its implementing regulations set six types of mining licenses as follows: The reconnaissance license including all types of minerals for two years, which is extendable; all mineral exploration license for five years, which applies to minerals of categories (A, B); a license for category of minerals (C) for a period of one year, a general-purpose license associated with a mining or a small mine license.
The law identified exploitation licenses, which include: The mineral mining license of categories (A) and (B), with a license period of no more than 30 years, and renewable or extendable; the license of a small mineral mine of categories (A) and (B), with a license period of no more than 20 years; the license of a building material quarry, with a license period of up to 10 years, which is renewable; and the license of "surplus mineral ores on project sites or privately owned lands."
The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources seeks to protect and maximize the value of the mining sector in accordance with the objectives of the Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program. It aims to transform mining into the third pillar of national industry and exploit the Kingdom's mineral wealth, which is spread across more than 5,300 sites and is valued at approximately SR5 trillion. — SG


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