Saudi mines ministry announces qualified bidders for Khnaiguiyah exploration licence

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has announced the eight companies that have qualified as bidders for the country’s largest mineral exploration licence at Khnaigiuyah.

The qualified bidders include local companies Alara Saudi Ventures, Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Company (AMAK) and state miner Ma’aden, while foreign qualified parties include India’s Essel Mining & Industries Limited, Moxico Resources, Norin Mining, Vedanta and Ivanhoe Electric.

The companies can now access a data room which will soon be updated with further documentation of an independent technical report and additional data relating to the site, such as a full land survey and a social study conducted for the site.

The bidders will also be invited to a conference organised by the Ministry in April, to learn more about the next stages of the licencing round process and visit the site in person, should they wish to do so.

Following the proposal stage, the Ministry will select a single successful bidder who will enter into final negotiations on the terms of the exploration licence. If two or more proposals scores fall within a comparative range, the Ministry will designate these as ‘competitive bidders’ and invite them to participate in a final licencing round stage in the form of a multi-round auction.

The Khnaigiuyah site is the largest exploration site in the Kingdom covering an area of more than 350 km2. The industry notes that it has mining potential of approximately 25 million tonnes of ore at 4.11% of zinc and 0.56% of copper.