Riyadh -- In line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which seeks to transform the mining sector into the third pillar of the national industries, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources (MIM) announces Alara Saudi Ventures PTY LTD; Al Masane Al Kobra Mining Company (AMAK); Essel Mining & Industries Limited; Ivanhoe Electric Inc; Moxico Resources PLC; Norin Mining Ltd; Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden); and Vedanta Limited as the qualified bidders for the largest mineral exploration license at Khnaigiuyah site, marking the end of the first stage of the licensing round process.

Qualified bidders will receive the information memorandum which sets out the requirements for qualified bidders to submit their best proposals for the site. Qualified bidders are given two months to complete and submit their proposals.

Proposal submissions will be assessed based on a number of criteria, including technical and commercial terms, financial and social and environmental management plans.

Qualified bidders can now access the data room which will be updated shortly 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 qualified bidders will also be invited to a conference which will be organized by the Ministry in April, to learn more about the next stages of the licensing round process and visit the site in person, should they wish to do so.

Considering the emphasis Saudi Arabia is placing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) as it seeks to lead and transform the region’s mining sector, bidders will need to demonstrate how they will uphold these principles.

Following the proposal stage, the Ministry may select a single successful bidder who will enter to final negotiations on the terms of the exploration license, or alternatively, if two or more proposals scores fall within a comparative range, the Ministry will designate these bidders as ‘Competitive Bidders’ and invite them to participate in a final licensing 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 square kilometres and has a huge mining potential of approximately 25 million tons of ore at 4.11 % of zinc and 0.56% of copper.

The Ministry of Industry and Mineral Recourses announced the launch of the licensing round of Khnaigiuyah exploration license in the beginning of this year.