RIYADH: Gold, copper, zinc and silver has been discovered among 25 million tons of rock near Taif, western Saudi Arabia, by Gold and Mineral Co, a joint venture between global and local partners.

The unearthing of the metals has prompted the company to set out plans for a mine, according to the CEO of Gold and Mineral Co.

“To build a mine, it will cost us and my shareholders $200 million, creating jobs for around 700 people,” Brian Hosking told Arab News on the sideline of the Future Mineral Forum in Riyadh.

The company expects to start producing in 2025, but will first have to complete the design of the mine that avoids environmental damages and assures local community engagement in the project.

Hosking expects higher demands on copper in the future thanks to its ability to conduct electricity compared to other minerals.

“The lucky thing is that Saudi Arabia has actually got many projects which are possibly for copper,” he said.

He also said he supports measures by the Saudi government to ensure mining is carried out in an environmentally responsible way.

“This is not about zero carbon, this is about that my children and your children have a future on this earth,” he added.

Gold and Mineral Co is a joint venture between the London-listed company KEFI Minerals and Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid and Sons Co., which has a 69 percent stake in the company.

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