The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources issued 34 new mining licenses during May 2023, including 20 exploration licenses, 13 building materials quarry licenses, and one mining and small mine exploitation license, according to the report of the Ministry’s National Center for Industrial and Mining Information.
The report indicated that the number of mining licenses in force in the sector until the end of May 2023 amounted to 2,365 licenses, topped by 1,475 permits for building materials quarries, then exploration with 644 permits, then mining and small mine exploitation with 182 permits, reconnaissance licenses with 36 permits, and 28 permits for surplus mineral ores.
The report stated that the Riyadh region acquired the largest number of the total mining licenses in force in the sector with 587 permits, followed by the Makkah region with 384 permits, then the Eastern region with 376 permits, the Medina region with 264 permits, the Asir region with 214 permits, the Tabuk region with 154 permits, the Qassim region with 89 permits, the Jazan region with 81 permits, the Hail region with 69 permits, the Najran region with 54 permits, and the Al-Baha region B. 39 licenses, then the northern border region and Al-Jawf region with 27 licenses each.
The Mining Investment Law and its implementing regulations specified 6 types of mining licenses, including the reconnaissance license, which includes all types of minerals for two extendable years.
And a license to detect all types of minerals for a period of 5 years for minerals of the two categories “A” and “B”, and a license for the category “C” minerals for one year, and a general purpose license linked to the mining or small mine license.
The system also specified exploitation licenses, which include: a mining license for minerals of the two categories “A” and “B”, the period of which does not exceed 30 years, subject to renewal or extension, and a licence.
A small mine for minerals of the two categories “A” and “B”, and the period of its license does not exceed 20 years, and a license for quarries of building materials designated for category “C” minerals, whose license period reaches 10 years, subject to extension. The system also included a license for “surplus mineral ores in project sites or privately owned lands.”
The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources seeks to protect the mining sector in accordance with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030, in addition to working to exploit the mineral resources in the Kingdom, which are spread in more than 5,300 sites, and their value is estimated at about 5 trillion riyals.