RIYADH — Total value of mineral resources in Saudi Arabia, which are scattered in more than 5,300 locations, is estimated at about SR5 trillion, according to a report of the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources.

The report, issued by the ministry’s National Center for Industrial and Mining Information, reaffirmed the ministry’s endeavor to protect the mining sector and maximize its value. This is in accordance with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program to transform mining into the third pillar of the national industry, and to work to exploit the mineral resources in the Kingdom.

The program aims to transform the Kingdom into a leading industrial powerhouse and a global logistics hub, by maximizing the value of its mining and energy sectors while unlocking the full potential of local content and the 4th Industrial Revolution.

According to the report, the total number of valid mining licenses issued until the end of January reached 2,383 licenses. The sector of building materials quarry license ranked first among the sectors with a total of 1,513 licenses, and it was followed by 613 exploration licenses, and then 195 mining and small mine exploitation licenses, 37 reconnaissance license licenses, and 25 surplus mineral ores licenses.

The Mining Investment Law and its executive regulations specify six types of mining licenses, including a reconnaissance license, which covers all types of minerals for a period of two years that can be extended, exploration license for all types of minerals for a period of five years for minerals from categories (A) and (B), and a license for the category of minerals (C) for a period of one year, and a general purpose license linked to a mining or small mining license.

The law also specifies exploitation licenses that include: a mineral mining license of categories (A) and (B), the license period of which does not exceed 30 years and is subject to renewal or extension. A small mine license for minerals is of categories (A) and (B), and its license period does not exceed 20 years. The building materials quarry license is designated for mineral category (C), for which the license period reaches 10 years, subject to extension. The law also includes a surplus mining ores license at project sites or privately owned lands

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